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I need help getting started with my decluttering... I have done the easy things, things that were in my face obviously needing to go... but now I am stuck!!! How many plates do I keep? How much silverware? Books? Cards? Then.. how do I get rid of it? Cheapcycle? Freecycle? Help!!
 

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Well, have you checked out Flylady, I can relate to some of it and there are also some really great exercises in cleaning and decluttering. Today I went around with a trash bag and a donate basket to every room. Also a big thing for me is, you cant really clean or organize clutter, so just get rid of lots of stuff!<br><br>
The perfectionism hinders me aswell, I have ideas of "who could use this and where should I donate it" the easy answer for me has been my local Goodwill and for really nice womans stuff and some baby stuff CASA (citizens assisting the sheltered and abused).<br><br>
So, I'm going on <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">, the other thing I have been considering is: because I have guilt about wasting and not being "green", I'm trying to be really conscious of what comes in!<br><br>
One more thing, it's a process/journey not a race. Just a little at a time.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Go through each room (or if that's too overwhelming, do it one drawer at a time, one closet at a time, etc.) and make a pile of anything you haven't touched in 3 months. If you can't remember the last time you used it, you probably don't need it. Separate the a pile into 3 sections:<br>
1. "Really good" stuff to list on craiglist/consignment. Resolve to donate it if it doesn't sell after a month (you could just donate it immediately if you don't need the $$).<br>
2. "Good enough to donate" -- drop it off at Goodwill/Salvation Army or freecyle it.<br>
3. "Trash" (things not good enough to donate).<br><br>
As far as multiples (like dinner plates), figure out how often you are able to do dishes/laundry/etc. If you can go 2 nights without doing dishes, keep 2 days worth of plates for each person in the family. For shoes, for ex, keep one of each type & 1-2 extra in one category depending on your personal style/job (i.e. if you dress up for work, keep 2-3 dress shoes, 1 pair of casual shoes/sneakers, 1 pair winter boots, 1 pair sandals).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys!! I am trying to make significant progress before our 3rd baby is born in October since DH is deploying shortly after and I think I really need the house decluttered to be able to manage at ALL with 3 kids under 3 by myself. We don't really have a good will or anything down here but maybe the thrift store on post? or the lending locker on post... I like the advice of taking it one drawer at a time because it is a lot to think of all at once!!!
 

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I can relate also...I have often been paralysed by indecision, wondering if I should sell something or give it away to get rid of things quickly.<br><br>
I could do with the $$ but I am finding that lately I am not having a lot of luck with ebay and have decided to donate mostly, and only sell the best brand name clothes...because the time spent listing things plus the fees they charge for listing, it is not really worth it and just holding up the decluttering process!<br><br>
China can be divided into ones that are good to use daily and those which you want to keep for having guests, and maybe some that are collectible pieces for display. Get rid of any that are chipped, cracked, or you don't really like enough to enjoy using daily.<br><br>
Books is another matter....it is hard to say how many books one needs! I am a bit of a book addict....and have many in storage under the house. However as I get older I am starting to question if I will ever actually use or read many of them, so I am going to start going through the books a box at a time.
 

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To start small, I would start with whatever you lay your hands on...example:<br><br>
Making some tea- straighten up the tea items<br>
Doing your hair- quicky purge empty, never used, stuff you hate for your hair<br>
Folding laundry- sort, declutter, purge<br>
Making dinner and waiting for something to boil or brown- purge the junk drawer or organize just the canned items in your pantry<br><br>
Little bits add up to bigger bits. I tend to focus on one task for 20 solid minutes. You will be amazed at what you can do.
 

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I should really join you, "15 minutes at a time" as Flylady says.<br><br>
For the china: if you entertain on a regular basis (not sure as you seem to be a "military family") it might be worth keeping an extra set for those occasions, preferably stored away from your "main traffic areas".<br><br>
I donated a lot of unused, unloved, outgrown, ... clothes, toys, and books to charities, preschools, schools, and public libraries. (Sometimes the fact that the books were "still there" helped my children to let go of them.)<br>
Also, once the new baby is there and you find that you have baby clothing you never really liked or which doesn't match the season / size / gender of your new baby: out with it right away.<br><br>
I've once read "clutter is a decision delayed". Very true, just come over to my place and you'll see...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We don't really entertain all that much in the fancy sense of the word, when we do have people over (which is maybe, once a month?) it is usually like 20 people and as bad as it sounds... we buy paper plates for that because the thought of that many dishes is enough to send me into a tizzy!!!! So I guess I should just get rid of most of the extra stuff... maybe keep 4 extra just in case though, like if my family came down we would need it sort of thing.
 

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Personally, I wouldn't worry about dishes and such at this point. The most common overages I see are TOYS, CLOTHES, and SHOES. Focus on the things you are constantly cleaning up first. Dishes and such are typically manageable through the first few layers of clutter.<br><br>
The most productive thing anyone can do is stop buying new stuff until you absolutely NEED it. Then, hold off and really evaluate that "need". Can I borrow this item? Can I make do with something we already own? Can we do without it altogether?<br><br>
One small area at a time is very manageable. Either use a timer for 15 minutes (or other short, workable time frame) a day or focus on a small physical space each day. Choose the worst or most annoying SMALL spot in the house first, so that when it is finished, you feel good, really good, and the momentum will carry you on. If the worst spot in the house is in entire room, I'd wait awhile to tackle that. Get to the easier stuff first to show your progress and build up your good feelings towards decluttering. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I have found that the book "clutter busting" has really helped me. It makes me think about the reasons why I think I need to keep things, emotions attached etc. It has really made me be able to be more ruthless.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The thing is, I really have gotten thru that first layer, so to speak. We don't have a ton of clothes, we don't have anywhere to store them so they are constantly getting weeded through. I have been working on the toys and got rid of all the obvious clutter toys, now I am taking a few weeks with the reduced toy stash to see what really gets played with. I just kinda got.. stuck after doing the obvious stuff <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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good luck pushing thru! As people are saying, pick an area each day or week and just look further into everything, ya know? It's good to make yourself do a good fifteen minutes or half hour a day, but then some days you will get into a certain "groove" and keep going. I rely on that momentum to accept that certain things need to go, kwim? It could be something that I would pass right over during a brief session, but when I'm in the right frame of mind I realize it's junk :p Small goals help too; if you've gotten thru the closet in twenty minutes and don't really want to get rid of anything but it's still too full, resolve to pick five things or whatever number is appropriate. HTH!
 
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