Help me start de-cluttering - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 11 Old 07-01-2007, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My name is April and I am a packrat. Both parents are packrats and so I have it bad. I am hopeless at organizing too. My DH and I live in a 1 1/2 story house (1200 sq ft) with 2 small bedrooms, a loft area, small basement (storage only) and only one closet (in a bdrm). We also have 2 small cats and a large dog (102lbs shephard x). I need some help learning how to de-clutter and organize both my house and my van. HELP ME PLEASE!!!!!!
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#2 of 11 Old 07-01-2007, 09:57 PM
 
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It takes me awhile to actually motivate myself enough to do it but once I do I'm unstoppable until I... well.... stop. Then it takes a little self-talk to get back into it again.

I grab a garbage bag and a large box and jump right into a problem area. I don't really stop to contemplate much, just go through each item either tossing in the garbage bag or into the box to be put in it's proper place, given away, or re-purposed. Just dive in and go, go, go. It's the only thing that works for me. If I stop and think about it it just doesn't work.

Peggy: full-time shift-working mama to Kiddo (Nov|04) and Babygirl (May|11). Fiancée to Babe. Step-mom to Tween, my bonus daughter (Sep|00). Currently TTC - http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/3c1739

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#3 of 11 Old 07-01-2007, 10:03 PM
 
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I suggest going room by room starting with the easiest...usually the bathroom. That way, when you are feeling defeated you can always go in there and say "hey. I did this." It will make you feel good and want to do more.

Be ruthless when decluttering. Most things can always be replaced easily.You will find that once you start, it's hard to stop.

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" --Leonardo Da Vinci
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#4 of 11 Old 07-01-2007, 11:25 PM
 
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I agree with starting with the easiest room. I also think it helps to just focus on how much you get out, not on how organized what is left is - because its addicting to look for things you know you can or need to get rid of and once you've removed a bunch of stuff, the organization part comes in easier.

Decluttering also has to be done in waves I think, especially when starting out. I've found mentally I can't get rid of everything I should all at once, I have to go over and over a room and strip off the worst of it, it always takes a few passes before it feels like I've gotten it right.

I also think having a few success rooms is key to knowing why decluttering is so worthwhile. When you see how easy it is to keep a properly decluttered room clean, etc you begin to become more and more addicted to it.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#5 of 11 Old 07-02-2007, 12:17 AM
 
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Good to see you here April! If you need specific ideas for help you know where to find me. One method I really like to make a list of what items should be in X location before looking at what is really there. then once you are sure you have everything on your list that you need/use often enough to have there, take your list to your location and put those items in that space. remove everything else that isn't on your list. no. matter. what!
I need to do this in a few places in my house, like the bathroom cabinet.
even if you start really small and pick one drawer in your kitchen, it will be a good start and get the ball rolling for you.
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#6 of 11 Old 07-02-2007, 12:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Tomorrow I am de-cluttering the bathroom. My goal is to remove the 4 drawer tower from the bathroom which currently contains way too much that isn't being used often. Since our bathroom is also our laundry room it does tend to be pretty unorganized and full but I know I can do it. Wish me luck. If I have time I will do the kitchen next.
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#7 of 11 Old 07-02-2007, 12:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdncasper View Post
Tomorrow I am de-cluttering the bathroom. My goal is to remove the 4 drawer tower from the bathroom which currently contains way too much that isn't being used often. Since our bathroom is also our laundry room it does tend to be pretty unorganized and full but I know I can do it. Wish me luck. If I have time I will do the kitchen next.
A great way to help yourself let go of things is to put anything questionable in a basket or bucket or something and if you need to use it, take it out of the basket and use it and then put it away somewhere. Anything left in the basket after a month is not used and can be discarded.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#8 of 11 Old 07-02-2007, 12:05 PM
 
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You've gotten lots of great advice- I'm sure you'll do well with it! For my car, I was gifted a pop up organizer, but a laundry basket would work the same- it works great for all the stuff. The other biggie is to have a trash bag and use it! It helps SO much
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#9 of 11 Old 07-02-2007, 03:04 PM
 
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Oh..use BLACK trash bags that way you aren't tempted to go through it and say "oh..I changed my mind about that" If you can't see it, you won't be tempted.

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" --Leonardo Da Vinci
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#10 of 11 Old 07-02-2007, 04:20 PM
 
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Start small. One drawer or shelf at a time.

Tools:
Box for donations
Garbage can for trash

Start going through the stuff. Trash the trash. Donate anything you don't love, need, want, use etc.

As you come to things that belong elsewhere in the house, it can be helpful to go put the item away as soon as you come to it. It might seem like a lot more walking, but things will actually get put away that way. Not just turned into another clutter pile or box. Think of it as getting the job done when it needs to be done, and exercise!
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#11 of 11 Old 07-02-2007, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am so proud of myself, I just de-cluttered my bathroom. I got rid of 3/4 bag of garbage, grocery bag of recycling and 1 1/2 grocery bags for freecycle. It looks so empty now but I moved the 4 drawer tower to the sewing room and I have tons of shelf room too. Next up is the Kitchen or sewing/guest room.
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