How to keep a new home clutter Free!!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 08-16-2006, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok the first question we are moving out of a trailor that is 1 bathroom 3 bedroom and about 1500 sq feet into hopefully (we are still looking around) a 2,300 or more sq foot home with 4 bedrooms eat in kitchen, dinning room, livingroom, family room, 2 bathrooms, ect. will the more space make it much easier to spread out and not feel so cluttered ?? OR will i have to work twice as hard since the house will be twice as big??? We plan to do some serious and MAJOR decluttering as we pack/ move and all that... but still i'm worried my new dream house will look just as awful as our trailor...
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#2 of 9 Old 08-16-2006, 03:41 PM
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We are enlarging our home and I worry about the same issues. I think it will be important to get rid of as much as you can when you move. Then, with the stuff you are keeping, designate a place for it in your new home. The key to staying decluttered, I think, is for everything to have a "home" and putting it there when you are done with it. Once everything is in its place, I plan to follow a strict "one in/one out" rule- when you bring something new in you have to get rid of something old in that category (placemats, sweaters, whatever). Plus, scheduling major decluttering a couple times a year. Good luck!
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#3 of 9 Old 08-17-2006, 10:45 AM
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We are a family of 6 living in a 1976 sq ft home (4 bedroom 2 bath) and the clutter just spreads out to fit your space IME! LOL!

Keeping clutter under control requires "Constant Vigilance!"

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#4 of 9 Old 08-17-2006, 10:47 AM
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the more space you have the more clutter to fill it.

Being clutter free is an entire lifestyle change. We're working on it slowly but surely here.

Dani, wife to Cullen - 9/2002, mom to CJ 11/2004, Billy 12/2007 and Nora 7/2009
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#5 of 9 Old 08-18-2006, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
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So what i need to do regardless of how much i HATE the home i'm in i need to get the clutter undercontrol before we move... ok i was afaid of that... Just feels like here we just don't have the room for everything to have it's place and in a bigger space thinks woudl have more room to have a place...
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#6 of 9 Old 08-18-2006, 01:55 PM
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We are building a new house soon, and I have been spending a lot of time thinking about how to avoid clutter in the new place. Our living space will increase by 50%, plus we'll have a basement for the first time ever. In the past, clutter has always managed to fill any available space. If we don't change our behavior, things won't improve.

I plan to declutter as much as possible prior to moving. Basically, I don't want to bring in anything unless there is a designated place to put it. For things I'm not sure about, I suppose the new guest bedroom can be a "staging area" as we figure out where to put random items. I'd rather have one cluttered room for a while than have it scattered throughout the house.

In the design plans, we've tried to provide enough storage areas appropriate to where things end up. My brother-in-law will be working with us, and he is a carpenter and general contractor. I think he will be able to install significant built-in storage (lots of bookshelves!) at a reasonable price. We'll have closets for coats, shoes, and BAGS near the doors, and pantry space on the way from the garage to the kitchen. I want enclosed storage space in the basement: basically a row of walk-in closets (one per person, plus one for shared household things, like holiday decorations), plus a bike storage area separate from the rest of the space, and a separate laundry room with space for sorting and folding clothes.
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#7 of 9 Old 08-21-2006, 03:27 AM
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My advice would be two things.

1) Make sure everything has a place.

2) Think about your space differently. Space with nothing in it is wealth. To move around, dance, breath, look at, etc.....
Every time you bring in something new, think to your self, am I willing to give up more of that wonderful space I so enjoy. Then decide if you really need it.
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#8 of 9 Old 08-21-2006, 09:16 AM
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We used to live in a 950 sq ft apartment (when we had 2 kids). It was very cluttered. When we found out our offer on a 1400 sq ft house was accepted, I had a lot of trouble getting the apt cleaned up. It's like i had "given up" on it. So, of course, the clutter got boxed and moved into the house. Due to lots of issues involving renovating the house, it took several months to get the house organized, and I was so sick of the mess and clutter that I did some major purging when I was finally able to get everything put away. Slowly over the next year I became a less cluttered person. For financial reasons we sold that house and moved into a 1000 sq ft apt, so we lost a lot of space. And yet this apt is the most organized, least-cluttered place we've occupied (and we now have 3 children and one more coming!).

So, in my opinion, it's not about the size of your living space. It's about how you chose to live.
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#9 of 9 Old 08-21-2006, 09:27 AM
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i agree with what others have said.

it is my experience (largely observation) that we will clutter our spaces no matter how large. And the larger the space, the more work the upkeep is overall. this is why i've never wanted a house much larger than the one i have (currently 1300 sf, but i hope to have one that is about 15-1700 in living space with a garage for cars and a place to make biodiesel).

anyway, i find that the trick for me is to 1. monitor what comes in; 2. create a schedule for decluttering (i do big purges quarterly; i declutter each day--such as mail, etc--and each week--such as recycling, what not.); 3. set up a good organization system for yourself that is clearly labeled; and then 4. utilize this organization system.

for the first one, my husband and i are consciencious of our purchases. each thing needs to have a place and a function. I ask myself if i can utilize something that i already have (or refurbish something), or if it is something that i truly need or truly want. I do this with both small and large purchases. We find that we also save a lot of money this way. On impluse, i may buy this or that, but when i think about it (where will i wear this? where would i keep this? how often would i use it? etc) and i think about the savings and money market and IRA accounts, i am much more apt to desire to put that money there!

for the second one, a schedule for decluttering is great. i actually got this one from my mom. Right now, i'm itching to get started on a declutter, but am unable to do so because of time contraints. We used to do one before summer (prep for fall), before christmas (winter purge--also when we bought summer clothes because they were on mega sale), before easter (spring cleaning--part of our lenten processes, often had a toy focus), and then at the end of the school year (summer prep--often had a school paper focus). I still utilize this schedule today--and i don't feel 'quite right' if my home isn't purged by the start of the school year. LOL

Along with this, i do maintenance purges. Every day, i sort the mail into recycling, things that are shredded (i shred them right away and put them in the recycling or trash if the envelope had a plastic part), and then i have a place where i put the mail that we're keeping (file in the office for bank statements, etc; bill box for husband; coupon box in kitchen, etc).

Once a week, we go through the mail again (what we've kept) and we decide if we're going to get rid of coupons or other things. We also go through any papers that we've brought into the house and divide them into file away, recycle, or give/pass along (sometimes it's interesting articles, etc). We do the same with magazines (we often file them or pass them along or donate them to hospital, etc). We also bring in a lot of books--so we purge and reorganize quarterly in that regard--though every week we put the new books in a specific place so that we can read them and prep them for purging or shelving.

My organization system is actually made up of a motley group of 'hand me downs.' my sister and mother fitted out their closets originally with metal wire basket towers. I have these now. I currently utilize one--i passed along the other two to my friends. i also have plastic drawers and a number of plastic sweater boxes (extra large, large, and medium; some see through, others opaque). I have a single filing cabinet. Each of the sweater boxes and drawers are labeled clearly and kept in the closets (on the floor and above on the shelf). most of them are partially or even mostly empty.

then, the next step is to use this storage system. Each week when I do a purge, i utilize this system for things that i'm going to keep. For example, one box is entirely wrapping items for gifts. I put bags that i recieve in there (for recycling purposes), as well as any wrapping paper that i buy--though rare. another box has christmas ornaments and such. My mother loves christmas and throughout the year buys me little 'goo gahs' for christmas. If i like them, they go in the box. If i don't like them, they'll go on ebay, but are stored in the box until they are going to be shipped out. So, utilize the storage that you have!

Good luck to you and congrats on your new home!
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