Anyone else need to do a major house purging? - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-17-2005, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm drowning in clutter, like many of us, but I feel so overwhelmed with trying to decide if I should sell something, give it to a friend, donate it to a shelter, donate old books to a library, etc.

I find myself boxing and bagging and labelling things as "Summer - Sell" or "Toys - give to friends" or the worst; "Old stuff to sort" ...but then the boxes and bags just sit around.

I want to give up trying to get rid of my clutter in a planful and organized way and just load up the car with everything I don't want so I can just drop it off at one place and never look at it again!

Anyone else want to do this? Or already working on this?

My house just needs to :Puke

Is it selfish not to spend more time on giving things away to specific charities and friends?
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Old 11-17-2005, 03:30 PM
 
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I am in the middle of doing this. DH and I have been overwhelmed by textiles--sheet sets for full beds (we no longer have one), my clothes in sizes 6,8,10,12 (I'm 14/16 and have been for three years, and I'm pg), DH's clothes in 32" (he current;y wears 36/38), old clothes waiting to be mended or used as rage or used in sewing projects. We are finally just throwing it all out. I'm gonna freecycle a few items (two *nice* dresses and a nice suit), but the rest is being divided between the garbage garbage bad and the Salvation Army garbage bag.

A lot of our clutter is stuff our boarders left behind (we had two familes/five people living with us during the past year). Both work at the same place, so I'm making up a big bag to dump at their place of employment. Maybe it's kind of mean, but then they keep refusing to get thier junk out of my house!

I just want to get to the point where I'm not constantly trying to maintain a disaster area, and can start actual housekeeping. Once the baby is here I don't think that five huge baskets of old clothes stacked so I can't even easily get to the washer and dryer will work out. Especially since it looks like I'm not gonna be able to get diaper service like I wanted .

I also am struggling with feeling horrible aobut not finding better ways to use/dispose of this stuff, but it's become a quality of life issue. At this point having to, at some point in the future, spend two bucks on cheap washcloths to use as cleaning rags is just so much better than haning onto a dozen stained, dirty, worn out, holey, t-shirts. Buying fabric for projects, or going shopping for it in grandma's basement, is so much better at this point that hanging onto old clothes simply because most of the fabric is still good.

Anyway, back to sorting.

I've got six month before my EDD. That's six months to get my house decluttered and onto some normal housekeeping schedule. I don't think I'll survive motherhood if I try to keep up my haphazard dorm-room style of housekeeping!
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Old 11-17-2005, 05:23 PM
 
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kamilla626 I completly hear you. I've been doing the same thing. I think a big reason why our charity bags are not moving is that I keep thinking "we are on the verge of being broke. I'd like to sell these clothes, but where's the time?; I doubt I'll make anything on them; doesn't Goodwill deserve the money for their noble cause? but then we need some rainy day money..." Ack. It makes me sick. What's worst is that I don't feel I can have visitors to my house -- I'm ashamed.

Anyway, I too look forward to some ideas on how to plan for decluttering, and how just do it!

In the mean time I'll search the archives...
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Old 11-17-2005, 06:13 PM
 
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I'm so with you on this too... i'll be trashing way to much over the next few weeks before christmas when once again my house will be mess with all the junk people insist on buying my kids... I had my house totally decluttered and in working order when i was pregnant and then allison was born in aug 04, well after that it was down hill b/c i went into sesional depression, and trying to keep up with eveything was way to much, so once again my home is a clutted unorganized mess and i want it all fixed by christmas, i would say thanksgiving but i was a little off the past month (depression med regulating again, sessional thing) and now i'm on track and allison is big enough to not need held all day long and my othe kids are both in school now so i'll need to kick it in the butt and get to trashing, and on one car load i will take some stuff to good will or to mil basement for storage for a rumage sale... if i can't think off hand who needs it...i don't keep it...
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Old 11-17-2005, 06:50 PM
 
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add me in. my house needs to be decluttered, esp. the basement and dd's room.

Kristin- Wife to J, Mommy to B (11), M-S (8), and little J (4) and J&J (7 months)
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Old 11-17-2005, 07:01 PM
 
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Add me, too.
I have started weeding out the broken/missing pieces toys. But I have a closet in the basement that needs going through in a big way and I have been avoiding it and adding to it.
Some days I think I should toss everything.

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
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Old 11-17-2005, 09:22 PM
 
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I have the same problem. You could try setting a deadline, like a month away, and if you haven't sold it or given it to your friend or whatever, it all goes to Goodwill or the church rummage sale or whatever one place is easiest. I figure *if* I can ever get on top of the clutter, I can then have a "fresh start" and figure out a system for getting rid of no-longer-used stuff (like listing stuff on eBay once a month, or coming up with a monthly charity run where I drop off stuff at the library, shelter, etc) But I have to be honest that I'll never get that system in place unless I first get things under control.
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Old 11-17-2005, 09:36 PM
 
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I just got done doing a MAJOR declutter. Let me tell you, it feels SOOOOOO good to have my closets and storage space back! I ended up boxing everything up in boxes like "kitchen stuff" "men's clothes" "toys" etc. Then I listed all the boxes on Freecycle, taped them up, and said the whole box had to go, put a deadline of two days (listed on a Wed) the two boxes that didn't get someone to pick them up, I took to my mom to leave out for purple heart. I gave up on trying to sell, or trying to give to friends/family... way too much effort, and it never gets done. I tell everyone, HEY! I'm getting rid of a bunch of stuff this week, if you want anything, you are gonna have to come help. I had four people helping me clean, and four garbage bags went with them when they left.

Good luck!

Dawn, mama to D (3.06) & N (9.07) C (11.09) & Still-in-shock surprise due in Aug!
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Old 11-17-2005, 09:52 PM
 
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I'm in! lol
I need to do this.
I have belonged to flylady on and off and have read a few feng shui books.
My dh built me shelves and a workshop in our basement so my business and scrapbooking wouldn't be all over the kitchen but this just happened. So that area is clutter free and semi organized
Things I have done are stop buying sooo much, stopped buying throwaway things, I think before I purchase now. We have decluttered the cellar a few times, more needs to be done. I make sure I have a place for things.

I still need to work on putting things away when I'm done. That's my biggy, I am always working on a few things at once. Right now I have bills to the left of me, produce to put away, soaps to be wrapped, molds to be brought downstairs, then there's the recycling to be taken out and laundry to be done, and here I am lol

ok
to do list:
I still have shelves of toys and books all mixed up from homeschooling my ds and running a daycare, that needs a major overhaul.

My bedroom closet needs a major overhaul

My desk

My books shelves

my kitchen cupboards
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Old 11-17-2005, 11:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tie-dyed
I also am struggling with feeling horrible aobut not finding better ways to use/dispose of this stuff, but it's become a quality of life issue.

That's exactly what I'm talking about! I have all these bags labelled for different destinations/different people, but I don't have any more room in my house than I did before, everything's just in bags now!

It's hard not to feel guilty about just hauling it to a single place (Goodwill, Salv. Army, etc.) but I think that's what I'll have to do.

We're so broke right now though too. So I start looking at everything I own in terms of how much I might be able to get for it. So aggravating!
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Old 11-18-2005, 03:44 AM
 
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Yes..............I've been trying.
Last weekend got rid of 2 car loads.
Now to re-organize some stuff and get rid of more.

But at least since coming to these boards more lately i don't feel so alone and like I am the only one.
So even if we are all struggling with similar issues - i feel supported here.

so thanks to all of you and your outgoing clutter................
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Old 11-18-2005, 12:39 PM
 
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Just wanted to let everyone know that I'm in the boat, too! I have been holding on to clothes that no longer fit, random household items that seem to have value, and all sorts of paper!!! It's ridiculous. And with the baby on the way, things really need to change...

Part of the reason I've held on to this stuff is not necessarily that I want to keep it for myself, but rather that I want to actually see it go to a good home. I want to place it in the hands of someone who needs it. Or I want to get a few bucks in exchange for my possessions. And that's really quite selfish of me - to want the pleasure of seeing someone else blessed. I should have faith that there is someone out there who needs the items more than I do - I should believe that Goodwill deserves the $ more than the few bucks I MIGHT get if I were able to sell the items... I should trust that the person who does end up with these items will be thankful for them.

I'm certainly not happy with the house being cluttered (though DH could care less!), so it's up to me to make a change. This post has inspired me to go ahead and let go of things in one fell swoop. I've been down to the filled-to-the-brim basement and come up with 4 full armloads of stuff to be donated. I will keep making a pile by my front door until I know it'll fill up the car. Then I'm going straight over to Goodwill to allow these items to bless someone else.

I received an email this morning that said one way to overcome greed is to learn to give stuff away. And it just really resonated in my heart - and so I came here and found this post and I feel even more convicted that I've made the right decision. Giving it all to Goodwill is the right thing to do for me.

Blessings to you all!
Shelley
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Old 11-18-2005, 09:04 PM
 
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I do! I promised I wouldn't post on this thread until I got started, but today I got rid of 4 trashbags and 2 sacks worth of stuff from the kids' room! I hope to get rid of at least 3 more bags for the rest of the house (the kids' room was bad). I already dropped them off at goodwill...i'm feeling a bit proud of myself
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Old 11-18-2005, 11:57 PM
 
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Put your house on the market and you'll be amazed at what you'll shovel out of it to make it look better. I don't know how many van loads I've hauled to the used store. Quite a few. And we still haven't moved yet, so there will be more!!

Truly though of everything I've dumped in the last 6 months, I don't regret any of it. But the feeling of organization is priceless.

Liz~A wife and homeschooling mother to two gifts from God!
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Old 11-19-2005, 12:14 AM
 
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oh, we so soo sooooo need to to do a whole house purge. i really have no problem getting rid of most stuff, but i get paralyzed about papers. papers, papers, papers. i can't seem to do anything with them and they just pile up. the kids' art work. stuff that comes in the mail (mostly junk, but there's the odd offer or solicitation in there i think i _might_ need to look at) and all the "important" papers i think i might need to save. dh said he'd deal with it and he started scanning in all the bills and receipts, but then lost momentum (like i do, too). anyway, i don't have too much trouble theoretically getting rid of clothing or household stuff (not that i don't have overflowing coffers of that, too), but the papers. oh my.

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Old 11-19-2005, 03:04 PM
 
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Just a quick update... The huge carload of donations found its way to Goodwill - so now I can start over and try to fill it up again!!! With the basement in such a state, I'm sure I can get another carload over to GW before Thanksgiving... DH will be distracted by college football all day - just hope I can manage to grab his attention long enough to ask "mind if I pitch this?" every once in a while!

Keep up the good work, ladies! You're all such an inspiration - I love knowing I'm not alone on this.

aside to Beanma - I can totally relate on the paper issues. Right now I'm focusing on the big stuff before I focus on the paper because I know I'll get overwhelmed and just give up if I don't see some progress... But I will soon be there right with you - picking through the piles trying to make sure I don't toss something I might someday need...
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Old 11-19-2005, 04:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamilla626
We're so broke right now though too. So I start looking at everything I own in terms of how much I might be able to get for it. So aggravating!
Could you have a garage sale to get rid of it? Or rent a table in a flea market for one day or one weekend? (if it's cheap to do so and you feel you have enough stuff.) You could always get together with a few friends and rent a table and take turns manning it.
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Old 11-19-2005, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Riversky, I think I just need to let it all go. I could go through everything and put price stickers on things for a tag sale in the spring (too cold now), but if it means I end up spending 40 hours cumulatively on stickering, sorting, storing, cleaning and carrying everything out to the driveway, setting up tables, spending a Saturday taking people's money... then finally bring in just a couple hundred dollars, it's not really worth it.

I wouldn't take a 3rd job if I was told I would make "between $3 and $10 an hour" - and that's pretty much what preparing for a tagsale would mean for us.

Wow... in just responding to you, I've pretty much settled that argument in my head! Thanks!
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Old 11-19-2005, 04:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kamilla626
Wow... in just responding to you, I've pretty much settled that argument in my head! Thanks!
Well, I'm glad I could help! Every time we have had a garage sale, we've managed to pull in at least $750 so it has always been worth our time but no, for a couple hundred dollars, I can see how it might not be worth it.
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Old 11-19-2005, 06:34 PM
 
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I'm planning a big move in the spring. Once already, I've been through the house looking for purge items, but it's tough. Being thrifty, I sometimes want to say "I'll use that again", even though I know I most likely won't. Wish me luck.
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Old 11-19-2005, 06:48 PM
 
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nak
another thing to keep in mind if you are feeling guilty getting rid of things you can sell is that by moving out old, stagnant items out of your home, new energy will flow in and move about more freely. so things may change for you and maybe you will get the value of the items back in a different form
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Old 11-19-2005, 08:18 PM
 
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I'm so glad to know that I'm not alone.. I need to purge my entire house!
I took a few bags to Goodwill this week, but to be honest, you can't even tell a difference. My husband says that he can, but I still see clutter everywhere. I'm frustrated

~e, wife to my sweet T , mama to my turtleman (12) , sunshine (9 ), and monkey (6)
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Old 11-19-2005, 08:41 PM
 
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I am on this too. I have had a couple of weeks where I managed to get rid of one small shopper every day - in rubbish or to charity. Then I tackled the filing cabinet, the archive boxes and dd's bookshelves. The recycling boxes were fuuul that week!

I know it must be less clutter because I saw it go out of the door, but I can still see more stuff........

SO I went through our wardrobe and underbed storage and filled a big charity sack which came through the door yesterday (an omen?) I have been holding on to my old clothes for no earthly reason and things that people gave me for dd, and bedlinen which we don't need and old t-shirts for rags. I just do't want to bin everything. Mmm sound familiar? I threw away some old/holey/uncomfortable underwear I that has been cluttering up my very small drawer too. And now I realise I have only 5 pairs of good pants (panties to you I think).

I also convinced ds2 that some of his clothes absolutely do not fit anymore and put those in the bag too but now I realise that he has next to no clothes other than school uniform and ds1 has no clothes to hand down yet. Oops jumble sale here we come.

Oh and a big thing was that we got rid of our old broken sofa. Dh and I nearly died laughing fighting to get it outside in the dark but the council collected it at 7am so we were spared the embarrassment of our neighbours seeing what we have been sitting on all this time

We are finally getting new flooring to replace the stinky 20 year old carpet in our only living room next week and it will have to be clear of everything by Wednesday am and we won't be able to put anything back in until Friday pm eeeek!

Dh has the week off so he will have to get his finger out and be ruthless all by himself (he has been putting it off) He keeps saying 'Oh not now, I just can't face it' Duh. Welcome to my world.
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Old 11-20-2005, 11:23 AM
 
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Orangefoot - your post had me laughing. I could just envision you and dh wrestling the broken sofa out the door... Excellent that it's gone now!

As far as I'm concerned, for today, I hope to get together one bag of giveaways and one bag for trash. Unfortunately, historically, I have held on to some things that truly belong in the trash... For example, I had a couple pillows with bizarre water stains on them. I was saving them for dress up and craft projects - but what sort of bacteria and mold could be growing in there, what with the water damage and all... So I gave them the heave ho and they're ready for pick-up tomorrow morning. Someday, when we need items for dress up, we can just use our everyday pillows.

Not seeing any progress can be frustrating - but by focusing on what you KNOW that you've given away, you might be able to keep pressing on until you do see that progress in the form of a clearer, cleaner, more peaceful environment.

Wishing you all the best in your house purging fun!
Shelley
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Old 11-20-2005, 11:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShellBelle76
Orangefoot For example, I had a couple pillows with bizarre water stains on them.
Off topic but...

I'll mention this simply because I've told people IRL about this before and they didn't know it...but you can wash pillows in the washer and put them in the dryer, too...just throw a clean tennis ball in the dryer with them (you should be able to fit two pillows in a load). I actually do this every month or so to all of our pillows (some down pillows will wash nicely, too). I like to wash away all that icky stuff and start fresh frequently.
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Old 11-20-2005, 11:35 PM
 
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When I wash pillows they just go lumpy. Is that what the ball is for?
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Old 11-21-2005, 12:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Irishmommy
When I wash pillows they just go lumpy. Is that what the ball is for?
Yup, the ball fluffs them back up.

But I do realize that every couple of years, I find that I buy new pillows as the older ones don't feel as nice anymore. (I just save the extras for when we have guests stay over) Pillows are generally pretty cheap so for me, it's worth it to wash them and get rid of all those dust mites, skin flakes and who knows what else, knowing that the washing put wear 'n tear in the pillows. I'm OK with that.
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Old 11-21-2005, 01:11 AM
 
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Thanks!
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Old 11-21-2005, 01:21 AM
 
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Thanks for the tip about the tennis ball! I never knew that- what a neat idea

~e, wife to my sweet T , mama to my turtleman (12) , sunshine (9 ), and monkey (6)
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Old 11-21-2005, 01:23 AM
 
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You're both very welcome.
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