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Heavy decluttering: I need some words of inspiration for making the hard decisions


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The kids are at camp this week. This is the first time I've had any extended time without them where I could tackle something like this, and I'm ready to go full speed ahead. But I can already see myself breaking down when making the hard decisions!

 

I was looking around the living room, thinking about what should stay or go, and I came upon my knitting. I only learned recently, but I'm terrible at it, and I don't find it super enjoyable (though I'm proud of myself that I finally tackled it and learned the skill). I have 3-4 sets of knitting needles, and I should probably let them all go. But the "what if...?" is already stopping me!

 

I also get stuck in the, "But this is perfectly good! I might need this someday! I should really have a garage sale with all of this instead of donating!" self-talk, and it usually pushes me off track *sigh*

 

Anyway, can anyone offer some words of wisdom, book suggestions, inspiring blog posts, etc.? Some serious changes need to be made around here this week, and I can't lose steam or the whole opportunity will be wasted.

 

TIA!

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The kids are at camp this week. This is the first time I've had any extended time without them where I could tackle something like this, and I'm ready to go full speed ahead. But I can already see myself breaking down when making the hard decisions!

 

I was looking around the living room, thinking about what should stay or go, and I came upon my knitting. I only learned recently, but I'm terrible at it, and I don't find it super enjoyable (though I'm proud of myself that I finally tackled it and learned the skill). I have 3-4 sets of knitting needles, and I should probably let them all go. But the "what if...?" is already stopping me!

 

I also get stuck in the, "But this is perfectly good! I might need this someday! I should really have a garage sale with all of this instead of donating!" self-talk, and it usually pushes me off track *sigh*

 

Anyway, can anyone offer some words of wisdom, book suggestions, inspiring blog posts, etc.? Some serious changes need to be made around here this week, and I can't lose steam or the whole opportunity will be wasted.

 

TIA!

Have you checked out Flylady.net? I have found her tips so helpful with decluttering and keeping up with household routines in 15 minute manageable chunks... She says,"If it doesn't make you smile, if it doesn't have a home(place to put it) or if it makes you feel guilty, get rid of it!!"

Visit the website...there's a wealth of helpful info on there!!

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Well, my first thought is this: Don't worry about making decisions about your own stuff right now. Take advantage of your kids' absence and start in their rooms. Take two trash bags with you - one for trash and one for goodwill/misc. donation. Do not even think about having a yard sale. It will just steal your time and you won't get as much stuff out of the house which is what you need to do.

 

Next week when the kids are home you can worry about your knitting needles and they won't care either way what you decide. (Was that too harsh?)

 

So, grab your trash bags and get going! Just think you won't have anyone at your side arguing about that happy meal toy and how it's their most favorite ever!

 

ETA: Said another way: Don't start with your hard decisions first. Start with your easy decisions. And when you see the trash bags filling up you will be so motivated to continue that your momentum will make the hard decisions easier.

Edited by Another Lynn
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I just got done doing this.

 

I made decisions based on-if I was moving, would I take this? I threw out SO much. I was brutal. And I'm so happy now-the house looks beautiful and I don't have all that junk. It is amazing how it lightened my spirit to get rid of STUFF. It feels great to look around and it's so decluttered.

 

Very very freeing. Get rid of the knitting.

 

I don't miss one single thing I threw out.

 

Don't do a garage sale-just pitch it and don't feel bad. I did donate some of the better clothes.

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Well, my first thought is this: Don't worry about making decisions about your own stuff right now. Take advantage of your kids' absence and start in their rooms. Take two trash bags with you - one for trash and one for goodwill/misc. donation. Do not even think about having a yard sale. It will just steal your time and you won't get as much stuff out of the house which is what you need to do.

 

Next week when the kids are home you can worry about your knitting needles and they won't care either way what you decide. (Was that too harsh?)

 

So, grab your trash bags and get going! Just think you won't have anyone at your side arguing about that happy meal toy and how it's their most favorite ever!

 

Oh, this is the first line of attack :lol::lol::lol: DD6's room and the toy/play areas, anyway. DD9 is much more sensitive about her things these days, so I probably can't do much in there. But that really won't take more than a day. Good point, though, about worrying about my stuff next week. If, for some reason, I run short on time, I'll definitely focus on the kid stuff.

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Have you checked out Flylady.net? I have found her tips so helpful with decluttering and keeping up with household routines in 15 minute manageable chunks... She says,"If it doesn't make you smile, if it doesn't have a home(place to put it) or if it makes you feel guilty, get rid of it!!"

Visit the website...there's a wealth of helpful info on there!!

 

I am a Flylady dropout from way back, and I'm afraid to even go there again :lol: But you're right, maybe I'll start there and just check out some of the articles. I should also get her book again, my library has it. Hmmm...

 

I just got done doing this.

 

I made decisions based on-if I was moving, would I take this? I threw out SO much. I was brutal. And I'm so happy now-the house looks beautiful and I don't have all that junk. It is amazing how it lightened my spirit to get rid of STUFF. It feels great to look around and it's so decluttered.

 

Very very freeing. Get rid of the knitting.

 

I don't miss one single thing I threw out.

 

Don't do a garage sale-just pitch it and don't feel bad. I did donate some of the better clothes.

 

Thank you, that made me feel more empowered. I think I just need someone to stand behind me and keep telling me that!

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The web site it super easy now too.

 

I dropped out many times, but she can cut the clutter like no other.

 

 

 

Have you checked out Flylady.net? I have found her tips so helpful with decluttering and keeping up with household routines in 15 minute manageable chunks... She says,"If it doesn't make you smile, if it doesn't have a home(place to put it) or if it makes you feel guilty, get rid of it!!"

Visit the website...there's a wealth of helpful info on there!!

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I had a friend once tell me that whenever he needed something he had so much stuff that he could never find what he needed and had to go out and buy it again so the worse that could happen if he decluttered and needed something he would go out and buy it again which is what he had been doing anyway. That helped me alot with the "what if's" and so far out of all the stuff that I have decluttered , I have not had to go out and buy any items again. No more saving things just in case I MIGHT need it someday.

 

p.s. if you ever decide to knit again, thrift stores sell knitting needles for dirt cheap lol

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I JUST did this! I actually did have a yard sale (if you are getting rid of nice things, and have a ton of them, I'd encourage it!) We are packing up our house, about to list it and move a pretty good distance away. I had 4 "areas" - one was the yard sale pile (this was a bedroom), the second was the packing area (another bedroom), the third was the packed area (this was for items I was keeping but would take in our move), and the fourth was the trash pile (carport). The trash pile got bagged if it could go out for the trash people and old boxes/papers got burned. I know my trash men hate me LOL The last 3 weeks have been HUGE piles of stuff for them to haul off. I'm thinking of setting out a cooler with waters/cokes and a thank you note next week when I finally have no trash :tongue_smilie:

 

I gave myself a deadline. 2 weeks to pack the house, 1 week to organize and execute the yard sale, 6 weeks to get the house cleared out and ready to list (I have 2 weeks to go...)

 

I like to break things down. Like all the bedrooms today, or even just X room today, and then have a weekly goal of having X amount done. I tend to get into a zone and can do a floor of the house in a day (I did my attic one day, my basement one day, the bedrooms one day, etc..) Be ruthless. If you haven't used it this month, and can't pinpoint an exact date you WILL use it, get rid of it.

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I think we tend to focus on the cost of replacing stuff if the What If happens.

 

It's easy to lose sight of the cost we pay in stress, mess, and confusion every day because we have too much stuff. When we own more stuff than our space can easily, comfortably hold or we own more stuff than we can easily, comfortably take care of, we pay a price every day. Right now. No "what ifs."

 

Focus on making your life better here and now. Don't try to think into the future.

 

(With stuff, at least. If we were talking finances, I'd have different advice. :D )

 

I just cleaned out my daughter's dresser and closet. It's amazing how much easier it is for her to care for her clothes when we remove all the ones that don't fit anymore. :tongue_smilie:

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I made decisions based on-if I was moving, would I take this? I threw out SO much. I was brutal. And I'm so happy now-the house looks beautiful and I don't have all that junk. It is amazing how it lightened my spirit to get rid of STUFF. It feels great to look around and it's so decluttered.

 

:iagree: This is how I do it. I also ask myself, "Have I used/worn/enjoyed this in the past year?" If not, it goes.

 

I am a chronic crafter who changes hobbies every year or two, and so I go through the same thing. I've often found others who enjoy the hobby who will gladly take the supplies off my hands -- I've gotten rid of hordes of beads, huge stacks of scrapbook papers, cross stitch patterns, crochet supplies, you name it! I usually keep just enough (like one container of beads, or one folder of my favorite papers) "just in case," but I rarely dig into them again.

 

One other idea:

Move EVERYTHING out of the room you want to clean, and I mean everything. Then ONLY put things back that you love. When you see how clean the room is, you'll be reluctant to let the other clutter back in. I recently did this with my kids' room, and they willingly parted with three huge bags of stuff. It was miraculous.

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I think, if money was no object, how much would I pay someone to come declutter for me? Or give me a new, empty room, how much would that cost? Or to be able to walk around in a beautiful, clean area that I loved?

 

So, if I added up the cost of all these things that are sitting in my house, making it cluttered, that I don't really want or use but that are perfectly good, would I spend all that, if money were no object? Say if I had it, I would pay $1000.

 

I don't have $1000, but I have all this stuff, the value of which may add up to $1000, that I could get rid of. So instead of, I paid $10 for those knitting needles, they are perfectly good and I should keep them, say, wow, $10 towards a new room! All I have to do is put it in a box, and have it taken away. Along with those books, that's another $50 towards a new room.

 

I decided also that it would never happen if I tried to sell it all. I did keep a few things to try to sell, and here they still are. Still working on it in many areas but this is a little mental game I play with myself to worry less about the money I spent on all that stuff, and focus on what I would do with that money if I had it to do all over again.

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:iagree:I would totally take care of their rooms while they are gone. Just don't throw away and priceless treasure (like that rock collection LOL).

 

 

Well, my first thought is this: Don't worry about making decisions about your own stuff right now. Take advantage of your kids' absence and start in their rooms. Take two trash bags with you - one for trash and one for goodwill/misc. donation. Do not even think about having a yard sale. It will just steal your time and you won't get as much stuff out of the house which is what you need to do.

 

Next week when the kids are home you can worry about your knitting needles and they won't care either way what you decide. (Was that too harsh?)

 

So, grab your trash bags and get going! Just think you won't have anyone at your side arguing about that happy meal toy and how it's their most favorite ever!

 

ETA: Said another way: Don't start with your hard decisions first. Start with your easy decisions. And when you see the trash bags filling up you will be so motivated to continue that your momentum will make the hard decisions easier.

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I don't have $1000, but I have all this stuff, the value of which may add up to $1000, that I could get rid of. So instead of, I paid $10 for those knitting needles, they are perfectly good and I should keep them, say, wow, $10 towards a new room! All I have to do is put it in a box, and have it taken away. Along with those books, that's another $50 towards a new room.

 

I've been decluttering for years and never thought about it that way! I can be pretty ruthless in my own way, but this is brilliant for those times I can't seem to get over the hurdle.

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The kids are at camp this week. This is the first time I've had any extended time without them where I could tackle something like this, and I'm ready to go full speed ahead. But I can already see myself breaking down when making the hard decisions!

 

I was looking around the living room, thinking about what should stay or go, and I came upon my knitting. I only learned recently, but I'm terrible at it, and I don't find it super enjoyable (though I'm proud of myself that I finally tackled it and learned the skill). I have 3-4 sets of knitting needles, and I should probably let them all go. But the "what if...?" is already stopping me!

 

I also get stuck in the, "But this is perfectly good! I might need this someday! I should really have a garage sale with all of this instead of donating!" self-talk, and it usually pushes me off track *sigh*

 

Anyway, can anyone offer some words of wisdom, book suggestions, inspiring blog posts, etc.? Some serious changes need to be made around here this week, and I can't lose steam or the whole opportunity will be wasted.

 

TIA!

 

I remember the times I have decluttered rooms, and think about how peaceful and inviting they looked after I was done. It made me SO happy. I try to focus on that, and think of the big picture, while I am doing the nitty gritty job of sorting through boxes, stacks of papers, clothing, whatever. I sometimes play upbeat music, or listen to talks on CD that interest me, while I am working.

 

One comment about your knitting: donate or give it to someone if you truly don't want it, but when I first learned I wasn't any good at it, either. It takes a while to learn a new skill. That said, you can still give it away and at some future time buy another pair of needles and more yarn.

 

My last point: it's just STUFF. Don't let it rule your life. There may have been a few times when I later regretted getting rid of items, but right now I can't recall what they were. Guess that shows how important they WEREN'T.

 

Happy decluttering! If you need a decluttering buddy, PM me, because I have several areas I need to work on, too.

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I think, if money was no object, how much would I pay someone to come declutter for me? Or give me a new, empty room, how much would that cost? Or to be able to walk around in a beautiful, clean area that I loved?

 

So, if I added up the cost of all these things that are sitting in my house, making it cluttered, that I don't really want or use but that are perfectly good, would I spend all that, if money were no object? Say if I had it, I would pay $1000.

 

I don't have $1000, but I have all this stuff, the value of which may add up to $1000, that I could get rid of. So instead of, I paid $10 for those knitting needles, they are perfectly good and I should keep them, say, wow, $10 towards a new room! All I have to do is put it in a box, and have it taken away. Along with those books, that's another $50 towards a new room.

 

 

This is such a creative way to look at it!

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I am a bit sentimental, so I have to have a third "I don't know" bag. That is for somewhere in between keeping and throwing away. Then you put that bag in a closet, in the attic, in the garage. Then in a few months, after you have pulled out an item or two that you decide you want, then get rid of it.

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Don't ask "Will I ever use it?" Ask "Will I use it enough to make it worth keeping?"

 

If you get rid of it, you don't have to find space for it.

 

Real estate is valuable. Is the stuff you're thinking about worth more per square food than the space it occupies?

 

If you were on one of those TV shows, could you defend the item you want to keep?

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Anyway, can anyone offer some words of wisdom, book suggestions, inspiring blog posts, etc.? Some serious changes need to be made around here this week, and I can't lose steam or the whole opportunity will be wasted.

 

TIA!

 

Don't read! Listen instead.

 

Stop by the library and check out one fun audiobook to listen to, and one decluttering/organizing audiobook. Then pop in your earbuds and get moving girl.

 

So, which child's room are you starting on?

 

My kids are all at dance camp this week, so I think I will join you in a giant purge-fest.

 

*First goal - the playroom

~ First step toward reaching my goal - taking allergy medication so that all that dust doesn't make me feel awful.

~ Second step - get moving.

 

Getting up off my lazy duff right now.

I'll check in with you later.

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Don't read! Listen instead.

 

Stop by the library and check out one fun audiobook to listen to, and one decluttering/organizing audiobook. Then pop in your earbuds and get moving girl.

 

So, which child's room are you starting on?

 

My kids are all at dance camp this week, so I think I will join you in a giant purge-fest.

 

*First goal - the playroom

~ First step toward reaching my goal - taking allergy medication so that all that dust doesn't make me feel awful.

~ Second step - get moving.

 

Getting up off my lazy duff right now.

I'll check in with you later.

 

Ooohh...I want to play! Can we share with each other what we decluttered to help keep each other motivated? I'm going to work on decluttering the stack of stuff on my side of the bed.

 

See you later!

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Wow, do you all have really young dc? Mine are 8-15, and I'm pretty sure they would feel violated if I threw out their things without asking; they wouldn't mind if it were truly trash that just didn't make it to the wastebasket, but toys/books/other possibly loved items? No. I might bag up things from their rooms that I think should go, but I would let them make the final decisions when they got home (after they saw how neat and clean their rooms were without all that stuff).

 

Instead, I'd move on to my own bedroom, desk, the kitchen cupboards, the storage closet, the bathroom closet, the linen closet.... Those are areas I use all the time, and when they get cluttered, I get stressed. With all that cleaned up, I'd have a lot more mental energy to apply to helping the dc make decisions about their mess.

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I agree with the previous post that you should take everything out of a room, (then dust/vacuum), then decide what goes back in. I just did this for both kids' rooms and it was amazing. I put everything in boxes and bins. When they were not around, I went through and got rid of obvious trash (papers with one scribble, broken little toys, bubbles that had leaked, balloons with holes, etc.). Then I went through things with the kids and dusted the items as we went.

 

Instead of asking if they wanted to keep something, I asked "Are you going to play with this or use it for decoration?" If not, we passed it on. We used our homeschool table to store all the donations (since we are off for the summer). We donated a LOT of stuff. They did much better than I expected!

 

Their rooms are so easy to keep clean now and we can find everything.

 

Now I just gotta do my own bedroom! :tongue_smilie:

Edited by HipGal
I can spell vacuum. :)
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Wow, do you all have really young dc? Mine are 8-15, and I'm pretty sure they would feel violated if I threw out their things without asking; they wouldn't mind if it were truly trash that just didn't make it to the wastebasket, but toys/books/other possibly loved items? No. I might bag up things from their rooms that I think should go, but I would let them make the final decisions when they got home (after they saw how neat and clean their rooms were without all that stuff).

 

Instead, I'd move on to my own bedroom, desk, the kitchen cupboards, the storage closet, the bathroom closet, the linen closet.... Those are areas I use all the time, and when they get cluttered, I get stressed. With all that cleaned up, I'd have a lot more mental energy to apply to helping the dc make decisions about their mess.

 

I seriously doubt that many mom's would go in and get rid of things that there is even a doubt as to whether or not it is a favorite. I have one child that will not get rid of anything. He wants to keep it all! So I go in and get rid of the obvious junk when he isn't home. He has never missed a single thing. I know what my kids love and as they get older they really only love certain toys. The rest just needs to move out. I also purge last season's clothes that are too small or shabby.

 

OP, I decluttered my school closet last week. I gave it a fresh coat of sky blue paint. It is very spacious and organized. I don't regret purging any of it! I posted a ton of loot on my homeschool email list for people to come pick up for free. It's nice to bless others!

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I'm in a similar situation. I have so much stuff I feel like I'm drowning in it. I usually don't like to have garage sales, but I have so much good stuff and I really need whatever extra money I can get right now. DH was unemployed for awhile and his new job has a much lower pay *and* my kids are going to have graduations, weddings and other big events coming up in the next year.

 

Anyway, I've found that the idea of putting out stuff for a garage sale has made me more willing to part with stuff. I tend to be very sentimental and I always have ideas about what I could do with stuff (but not the time or money to actually do it). It works for the kids too, since I told them they could buy one new thing with the money they made. I would never go in and just get rid of the kids' things without some input from them.

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When I clean out DDs room, I tell her in advance that I am going to be cleaning out, and that if I take out any thing that she needs, then she can let me know and I'll get it back. I keep the stuff for about 2 weeks and then donate it. I usually have to dig through for 1-2 of many items.

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I broke our pool table last week, so, to sort of make it up to my hubby, I decided to clean out the storage room while he was away on our youth mission trip.

 

So for a couple of days, I've been bagging up and throwing away--preschool stuff, materials I used to teach, broken carp, clothes I'll never fit in to (if I ever get to that size, honey, I'm buying NEW! :D)....I didn't even sort to donate piles, because I just won't get it done.

 

Part of the difficulty is the attachment/meaning that goes with each "thing." I am not a hoarder, but I've been hoarding preschool materials I made long ago (and not so long ago!). In order to purge it all, I needed to let go of the dreams attached to it. I had thought it would be so cool to make a little preschool in my basement (where our schoolroom is--very good space). It was a dream I held on to but never developed. I made a quick decision to just.let.go and I threw away 6 large black trash bags yesterday and today! I pared down to just a few big things and a few good preschool materials that I still want to hold on to (I have a beautiful set of boxes with lids that I've always loved, so I'm keepin' 'em!).

 

Anyway, sometimes you just have to let go a bit of the dreams you've attached to the "stuff." You will never be without dreams and hopes; by giving away those items, you make room for new dreams! Only open hands can receive. :001_smile:

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When I clean out DDs room, I tell her in advance that I am going to be cleaning out, and that if I take out any thing that she needs, then she can let me know and I'll get it back. I keep the stuff for about 2 weeks and then donate it. I usually have to dig through for 1-2 of many items.

 

This is what I told the girls about the public area toys and DD6's toys/stuff. They're both fine with it--DD9 because she's too old to play with most of the stuff in the playroom/living room and DD6 because she's feeling overwhelmed by the constant mess and because she's just not that attached to stuff. When DD9 was younger, it worked well to purge while she was gone, and I did only purge stuff she didn't care about (fast food toys, broken crayons, doodads, that fell to the bottom of the toy bins and hadn't seen the light of day for months and months :glare: She's still a packrat, but she's beyond that stage now, so she's getting slowly better about taking responsibility for caring for her own things (and owning her own mess!). I definitely couldn't go anywhere near her room the way I used to!

 

Thank you, everyone. I'm :bigear: and trying to internalize all the encouragement!

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Watch an episode of Hoarders while you're decluttering. That's what I do. You'll throw away 50% more stuff. They have full episodes online. :D

 

:iagree:

Or do it on your breaks and it will motivate you to get right back up and get to work!

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Okay, so all you people with great decluttering advice----a question......did you manage to keep it decluttered, or did you start accumulating again? With books especially I seem to eventually pile them up again.

 

This thread is inspiring me! Unfortunately, we are in the throws of county fair prep this week, so not much decluttering is going to get done--more like clutter scattering!

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Okay, so all you people with great decluttering advice----a question......did you manage to keep it decluttered, or did you start accumulating again? With books especially I seem to eventually pile them up again.

 

This thread is inspiring me! Unfortunately, we are in the throws of county fair prep this week, so not much decluttering is going to get done--more like clutter scattering!

 

I have found that decluttering has to be done every 6 months to keep things in check and that gives me the opportunity to reorganize. I'm getting better at making sure it is something I really want before I allow it into my home in the first place. It's hard with books though. :lol:

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How about the mantra I repeat as I clean:

 

"It takes time to own a possession. My family deserves that time instead."

 

Another thought: Would it help you if you were giving things away instead? There is probably a retirment home somewhere near you with ladies who would love those knitting needles. Can you afford to add a skein of yarn or two to each and drop them off with a bow wrapped around them?

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I think my record is 9 moves in 1 year.

 

Limits<--- is the key.

 

How many people? I have 3. I have three drinking glasses. Anything that's communal like that gets a limit. Towels, toothbrushes...on and on.

 

Anything that isn't used in 6 months time, pitched.

 

Books? I switched to a Kindle, that helped a ton.

 

Clothes? I'm way more minimal than you can imagine. Way.

 

When I get to the thrifts and ache for cutesy fun stuff, I just take a picture of it and move on.

 

Something comes in, something goes out.

 

No collections of anything here really, except for some doll clothes, and hobby stuff. I have no problem just pitching stuff into the dumpster. None at all. It breaks, it's gone. No saving to fix it or take it to the shop.

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Wow, do you all have really young dc? Mine are 8-15, and I'm pretty sure they would feel violated if I threw out their things without asking; they wouldn't mind if it were truly trash that just didn't make it to the wastebasket, but toys/books/other possibly loved items? No. I might bag up things from their rooms that I think should go, but I would let them make the final decisions when they got home (after they saw how neat and clean their rooms were without all that stuff).

 

Instead, I'd move on to my own bedroom, desk, the kitchen cupboards, the storage closet, the bathroom closet, the linen closet.... Those are areas I use all the time, and when they get cluttered, I get stressed. With all that cleaned up, I'd have a lot more mental energy to apply to helping the dc make decisions about their mess.

 

I felt violated and very sad when my mother did this to my room at age 3. (That's when I remember it starting.) Stuff I loved would just disappear. Her "decluttering" wasn't based on what I liked or "loved" but on what she thought was appropriate. She thought age 3 was too old for stuffed animals. :sad:

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• "Some things are for seasons" - this would be things like clothes / toys / etc that are outgrown / past their prime etc. Example - my high school letter jacket from 30+ years ago, I finally cut off the letter to keep and donated the jacket.

 

• "Don't let the past / future get in the way of living now" - the "I might need this sometime" or "This is a really good _____, I just don't need it now" Example - I kept my college papers in binders for years - I finally recycled the papers and donated the binders.

 

• What helped me the most was to remember, it will all burn up or rot (at some point) anyway. -or- "You can't take it with you"

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I agree with checking out FlyLady's tips. It's so hard sometimes because of the what ifs and the sentiments attached to objects. It's important not to overwhelm yourself. Choose small tasks that can be achieved in increments.

 

Closets today, dressers and underneath beds tomorrow, etc.

 

If you haven't used it in the past three months, you probably aren't going to. There are exceptions to this rule in terms of emergency preparedness.

 

Good luck, and you can do this!

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Lots of great advice already. A few websites that I've found very helpful:

 

365 Less Things (one thing she has repeatedly said is that she donates her stuff; she also works at the donation place & says she has learned how much stuff there is -- her advice is to donate/let the donation place 'store it'; if you find you really need something, it would be easy to find a second-hand version very cheaply)

 

Clutter Busting with Brooks Palmer

 

zenhabits

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I love peace more than these things.

I love a simpler routine more than these things.

I love less work more than these things.

I love more time more than these things.

 

No matter how ruthless you are it is likely you will have to do the process more than once. I'm notoriously non-emotional but I still find things at times that I've held onto without good reason. IT IS A CONTINUAL PROCESS. If you do not keep at it then likely you will end up back where you started. You have to keep a watch on what comes in AND changing needs. I generally do a big declutter at least 2x a year. Phases, needs and wants change. My desire for how clear I want a space changes. I go back and forth between trying to strip it down to thinking I need some more things to make it look "homey."

 

I try to think of how I want a room to look and how I want it to function and what things are in the way of that happening. I was having issues in my kitchen w/ dishes left on the counter because of too much tupperware, every time I went to put them up it would take ages so I'd put it off. So, I went through and get rid of enough and organized enough that I can put them away in 3 seconds, I haven't had any not put up since then. I try to keep what I only have room for, so then I have to prioritize what will fit in that space (neatly). If it doesn't fit, something has to go. Realistically you need to leave extra room as stuff grows. Don't think you'll have more space later, you won't.

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I love peace more than these things.

I love a simpler routine more than these things.

I love less work more than these things.

I love more time more than these things.

 

No matter how ruthless you are it is likely you will have to do the process more than once. I'm notoriously non-emotional but I still find things at times that I've held onto without good reason. IT IS A CONTINUAL PROCESS. If you do not keep at it then likely you will end up back where you started. You have to keep a watch on what comes in AND changing needs. I generally do a big declutter at least 2x a year. Phases, needs and wants change. My desire for how clear I want a space changes. I go back and forth between trying to strip it down to thinking I need some more things to make it look "homey."

 

I try to think of how I want a room to look and how I want it to function and what things are in the way of that happening. I was having issues in my kitchen w/ dishes left on the counter because of too much tupperware, every time I went to put them up it would take ages so I'd put it off. So, I went through and get rid of enough and organized enough that I can put them away in 3 seconds, I haven't had any not put up since then. I try to keep what I only have room for, so then I have to prioritize what will fit in that space (neatly). If it doesn't fit, something has to go. Realistically you need to leave extra room as stuff grows. Don't think you'll have more space later, you won't.

 

Not the OP, but Thank you. I think I just needed to hear that it is a continual process for others too. Your process sounds just like mine. BTW, I'm having the same issue with leaving things on the kitchen counter! Why didn't I realize I need to clean out?

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I felt violated and very sad when my mother did this to my room at age 3. (That's when I remember it starting.) Stuff I loved would just disappear. Her "decluttering" wasn't based on what I liked or "loved" but on what she thought was appropriate. She thought age 3 was too old for stuffed animals. :sad:

 

 

:grouphug: Yeah, I wouldn't do it that way. Every year, my kids go through their things in the fall, and we donate the items to the local thrift stores or Christmas bazaars. They love knowing that their toys and clothes will be going to others to love and use. :)

 

I listened to a book last summer called something like, "Throw out 50 Things, Get Back your Life." It wasn't rocket science, but it was a decent motivational listen. ;)

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OK everyone, the time has come. Thanks to you, I actually tackled part of the pantry fairly unemotionally yesterday and threw out three bags of old food that no one should be eating (a bag of wheat flour from 2007? I went mostly gluten-free in 2010, and now it's 2012! :lol:). The result is very inspiring every time I walk past the door! I have my audiobooks downloaded, I have Hoarders on my laptop, the girls are off to camp, and the bug guy who will be dealing with my yellowjackets isn't here yet. Here I go!

 

:gnorsi:

Edited by melissel
Comma issue
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I have been slowly working on this in our home. I have the goal of having my house look like a magazine picture. With that in mind, they never have drawers buldging, laundry baskets piled high, piles on the counter. So a big part has been thinking of where things belong and playing with different systems to figure out what works for me/our layout.

 

Regarding clothes/closets...I went through my things and got rid of even more "maybe items" I do have one pair of pants to have on hand in case I get called in to substitute at my former employer (maybe 1-2 times a year) but other than that everything is worn. And living where I do, we experience all 4 seasons fully so I have 5-7 tank tops, ss shirts, ls shirts, sweaters. I cut down on the number of pair of pants I have and have 3 pair of jeans, 1 of those I love (which I should try to get more of) and a couple of pair of khaki pants. I am doing the same for my kids. But with them I am storing winter things now, or else they will get ready for the 90 degree day by putting on sweatpants because they are comfy and in a/c. :lol: It has been so nice to have less laundry sitting away. It gets put away, because I need to wear something in the basket!

 

Then I am working through other spaces/areas of my home and purging things that we don't need/use/want anymore. It has been nice as my girls have moved along from lots of toys, to choosing a few that they actually play with. It's a constant struggle with the grandparents to realize we don't need more stuff for stuff's sake. But I just purge it and don't look back. :lol: They are slowly catching on!

 

Reading the book 7 by Jen Hatmaker was super inspiring and so is watching hoarders.

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I saw this short piece of verse today, and wanted to throw it on this thread. I find it really befitting of the mindset of decluttering in a poetic sort of way..

 

"The wind and I could come by and carry

you the last part of your journey, if you

became light enough,

 

by just letting go of a few more things you

are clinging to...that still believe in

gravity."

Hafiz

[thanks, Ms. Mara]

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Progress Report: :D

 

DD6 is thrilled with her clean room and is currently sorting through her books to donate to a local schoolteacher. DD9 is jealous of DD6's clean room and is contemplating letting me help her more with hers (we'll see how far we actually get!). I Freecycled a bunch of things, threw out a ton of stuff, boxed up a bin of things to let go of in a few months, recycled a big bag of random papers, and have a basket full of items from around the house to redistribute. Tonight I'm decluttering the bathroom and hall closet, and tomorrow I'll do my bedroom.

 

Watching Hoarders was a huge help. I watched several episodes as I cleaned, and when I found myself thinking things that I'd heard the hoarders express as they moved through their process, I was able to recognize those thoughts and reconsider the item(s) I was holding onto.

 

I'm glad the thread inspired others. jrn, great job!!! Did anyone else make progress today?

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