De-cluttering, organizing, and simplifying.... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 09-11-2003, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not if it is because I'm pregnant but I'm sick and tired of all the crap in our house! My dh gets mad because the house gets so messy and I know it is because we have too much stuff and not enough places.

We are about to add another person to this family...that means MORE stuff!

What are your best tips? Do you use storage containers? Do you just pitch things?

We took a truck and a car load of stuff to Goodwill yesterday and we have tons more to pitch. I told dh that if there is anything in this house he treasures he better hide it or it is going in the trash!!

What things could I be missing that I could live without??

Single Mom to 2 amazing little men. T(7) and B(5)
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#2 of 11 Old 09-11-2003, 12:26 PM
 
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Oooooh, this is my specialty!
Whenever someone here can't find something, the first thing they do is look at me and say, "Did you throw it away?" (Maybe I have a problem, but I grew up with a major pack rat of a mother, and I hated it!)


This is what I do twice a year or so:

If I haven't used it in a year (or six months or whatever), I toss it. (making exception for certain clothes which I will need again)

If it isn't beautiful to the soul or necessary for life, I toss it.

Knick-knacks are a no-no. We are simplists, and it is SO much easier to clean when you do not have to clean around the 'pretty' decorations someone gave you, yk? I have very few knick knacks and they are things that I really really like a lot.

I just go thru everything, every last corner, box, inch, etc... and when I am done... everything fits in the closets SO nice, everything is organized, everything is clean... I love it. I usually make a list of rooms and areas for the satisfaction of crossing it all off.

Also, after you do it- be very careful of what you bring INTO your home of you will be starting the cycle over.

Good luck!
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#3 of 11 Old 09-11-2003, 12:29 PM
 
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my dh also complains the house gets messy (and it bothers me even more than it bothers him) our problem is most of the stuff is HIS. so , i can't throw it out.

i throw stuff away

i give stuff to a charity nearby (helps homeless animals)

and i do store stuff.


i store babystuff. i store toys my oldest grew out of but my baby would like. i store Some books. i store "work clothes" for when i go back to work one day.


i am TRYING to get rid of a LOT more toys. we have TONS and i keep getting rid of them, but we keep having MORE.


it is a very hard task


i try to ask myself...."would i want to move this into a new house"? would i want this if someone offered to give it to me? will i use this in the next year or two? would it cost a lot to replace?


it seems no matter how much i pitch/giveaway, there is always more.

where does it all come from???
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#4 of 11 Old 09-11-2003, 12:37 PM
 
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I'm with Faith ~ throwing things out and keeping things uncluttered and simple are my specialty! I hate clutter...papers, knick knacks, etc. As for getting rid of things that belong to the kids or dh, I simply do it when they are not home. I fill those huge black (they can't see through them) trash bags with stuff and out it goes! I have never once had anyone come around asking for something I've thrown/given away, yet I know darn well that if they were standing next to me when I was filling these bags there would be huge battles over these things that they believe they "need".
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#5 of 11 Old 09-11-2003, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dh and I got married young but neither of us ever had any intention of ever marrying anyone.....so we already had 2 houses worth os stuff when we married.

I have TONS of decorating stuff cause I started young and growing up my mom was into decorating and stuff like that. Which I'm fine with. But we have some really junky stuff. Stuff that we bought cause it was neat but have no where to put it. Which when we were childless (a whole 13 months) it didn't matter. Now everything has to be up high to stay away from the curious toddler so it is even MORE CLUTTERED!

I also have the dh problem. He insists that all the mess is mine but he doesn't relize it is all his crap taking up the places where the actual needed things go!

What I'm thinking about doing is getting all of our stuff we don't need in one spot and us each getting a box and that is all the space we get and if it doesn't fit we pitch it.

I think we even have magazines that are about 10 years old.

Maybe we just need a bigger house....

Single Mom to 2 amazing little men. T(7) and B(5)
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#6 of 11 Old 09-11-2003, 12:43 PM
 
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Well, I did the flylady program (www.flylady.net), and it helped quite a bit, but there is the fact that I am cheap/frugal whatever. I threw away a bunch of clothes I thought I'd never fit into again, only to lose all the extra weight and wish that I had stored them away in the attic, cause I couldn't afford to replace them. I also keep all the kids clothes, store them in the attic too, cause I know there will be more kids to come who will need them.

I think getting rid of nick-nacks is good, and so is "a place for everything". I have found the toys are under so much better control now that I bought shelves with cubbies, when a new toy comes in, we have to get rid of an old toy to make room on the shelves, whereas when we had a toy box, it just got to be overflowing with all the new cr@p all the time.

I have found that I don't need everything in the kitchen that I have there, so I moved cake pans (like shaped or themed ones) to a box in the cellar, and things like the candy thermometer, and the pastry brush type stuff to shelves on the cellar stairs, that way the drawers are not cluttered with stuff I use once or twice a year.

It is nice to be de-cluttered and simplified, I just find it hard when I am so cheap, and I can't bear the thought of buying something again, so it can be hard to throw things away.

Good luck, try flylady you might like her system, or you might run screaming

:Patty :fireman Catholic, intactalactivist, co-sleeping, GDing, HSing, no-vax Mama to .........................:..........hale:
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#7 of 11 Old 09-11-2003, 03:31 PM
 
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Over the last 2 years, since dd was born actually I have been donating like crazy. Then we had to relocate to the southern part of the state (5 hour drive away from family) and when getting ready to move, we had been in the same house for 10 years, the shed was full, basement too, closets full of clothes.
I gave and am still giving things away like crazy. All my dry clean only clothes when I used to have to dress up (would not fit now anyway) gave them away, skinny clothes I cannot fit into now, the bigger sizes I am too small for now and everything in between. Unless I really love it, it is going. I now have another box of clothes to donate, and just dropped off a box 2 weeks ago.
I have a ton of "decor" pictures and such in a box, they are going to a consignment shop. My decorating is much, much simpler now too, it just looks so much cleaner, or something without a lot of items on shelves and tabletops. The newer look has me going kinda wild with paint around here, still have 1 bath and 2 bedrooms and kitchen, hall and dining room and porch to paint. All I have accomplished since April is the living room and dd's bedroom and 1 bathroom, glad fall is around the corner, holiday decorating will be simpler this year too.
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#8 of 11 Old 09-11-2003, 03:58 PM
 
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I had the dh problem too. What I did was pick up all his stuff. You know, all his stuff that is visible only to women, and put it in a pile next to his side of the bed. I told him it was all stuff that I didn't know what he wanted done with. Here's the important part- I DID NOT touch that pile again. It grew but i still didn't touch it. I think he stubbed his toes on it for 3 weeks straight and had to dig stuff out of there before he took care of it. But mission accomplished. He now admits that it's his mess too.
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#9 of 11 Old 09-11-2003, 04:37 PM
 
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We have a huge problem with this. I took a big step yesterday of which I am quite proud. I made an appointment for a month from now with a consignment shop. This will help motivate me to clean out my closets. I have already thought of three things (two dresses and a suit) that I will never wear again, even if I become very slim. They are nice things! I think I must have more than a few dresses in that category.

Also I want to know if I fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans. It's not that I'm so slim, it's that I can't find the jeans! I mean it! I can't find these articles of clothing that I wore several times a week until last May!

I figure my dh's problem is his problem. Just as long as he will give me permission to throw away all the broken stereo equipment we are storing, I will be happy to let him keep everything else. :

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#10 of 11 Old 09-11-2003, 04:54 PM
 
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I just thought I would add what we do for our toys, too.

I have always wanted only classic wooden toys, but could never bring myself to just go for it. But, after last Xmas, our house was just insane with plastic junk. It was awful! I was reading a John Holt book that really inspired me, so I just did it!

I took every single plastic toy in our home and donated it. My DC helped me- they couldn't care less. We got rid of baby mozart cubes (two), $100 play kitchens we had been given, just everything!

When we were done, I looked at the house in amazement. We still had the cool toys- play silks, blocks, cloth dolls, wooden instruments, etc. BUT everything FIT! We could walk easily through our house! Pick-up now took two minutes! I was really in heaven, and our kids never minded a bit.

I think this is one of the best things we did. The 'toys' were probably 75% if our clutter problem. (And no one cared about them!)
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#11 of 11 Old 09-11-2003, 05:38 PM
 
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Lurking, enviously and inspired...

Yesterday I tackled 8 y.o. dd's room again, 2nd time in maybe 4 months. It had gotten completely out of control. She was making trails through the crap. I tossed a very little bit of stuff, boxed up the rest of her toys in under-the-bed type boxes. Her room looks 100% better, but it would be even simpler and easier for her to maintain herself if I got rid of more.

But ds's room is next. Even if I toss a lot of it, he won't notice or care.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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