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Trying to declutter – who else finds it hard?

Home Forums SIMPLE SUSTAINABLE LIVING Organisation and Decluttering Trying to declutter – who else finds it hard?

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    I am on a mission to declutter, the amount of “stuff” that is in my house literally hurts my brain!!! But I am a moderate hoarder, you know the I might need that one day, oh I’m going to do that craft project one day, I’m sure that will be useful once I get to that project one day, ooohhh look it’s a book must buy it and put it on my shelf, I know I read it… and it goes on…. there is also the, pile of to go to the op shop, the pile of to be sold, the pile of it has sentimental value so I must pass it on to someone who will love it… eeekkk

    Who else suffers from this? I know when I do get rid of stuff that I don’t miss it and mostly never need it but yet actually getting it out the door is such a challenge! In part the problem is that I am a procrastinaotr so I tend to just move it around from location to location within the house, as it is prepared to be passed on, sold whatever…

    Please share with me your best tips!


    Don’t do it I know every time I throw something out I want it the next week


    First of all do not bring anything in the house cheap/ a bargain etc without saying “would I buy this at full price.

    Second Do I need it someday? Ask yourself What Day? Can you afford to buy it if you didnt have it. What are you going to use it for anyway. We have garage full of maybe’s come take it from us, never going to happen, so unless you categorize the maybe’s you wont be able find it anyway and will buy another one. Been there done that.

    Third. If I die today who is going to sort my stuff and what will they do with it? This last question can be a bit of an eye opener, I have come to realise my 5 children really do not want my china, the christmas decorations, or the lace cloth because if they did I would give it to them NOW, plus all the STUFF my mum has given me because it was just that from my mum/nana/grandma/aunty/ anyone else fill in the blank ……….

    I will sell it on EBAY/a GARAGE sale, really!!! Are you going to bother !!!!! My husband is a hoarder, we have a double garage full of stuff to sell…. not going to happen.

    Sentimental, take a photo of it and pack it up, mark the box and put it in the garage, and forget about it. Start an album of photos as you do it.

    Craft stuff donate it, chances are you will choose a different project and buy the stuff anyway new, otherwise go to an op shop and buy from the hundreds of baby boomers who are trying to get rid of their stuff via op shops.

    Books. Join a library, have you actually looked at what you can borrow. If you haven’t read it in 2-3 yrs then, when will you find the time, as you probably will be doing something new with all your free time not sorting.Our library takes books and sells them as they are not allowed to put them in the system. The rotary club here also has an annual bookathon and you can donate books every 4th Sunday to the cause. It feels better to do either than give them away. Might be something near you.

    It’s hard getting rid of stuff, I know, stick with rule 3, eventually someone has to get rid of the stuff, might as well be you. One little trick I have found helpful, is get every room as you would like, Perfect, No excess, Ready for a Better Homes and Garden photo shoot, what doesn’t belong put in the spare bedroom. All the maybe’s, might do, sentimental, two of something, craft, fabric, clothing, shoes, handbags, sheets, doona covers, old curtains, patterns, wool, everthing, stick it all in one room, then decide, give it away or pack it up and make a list of what is in box A, B, C and leave it there. A year later if you haven’t even looked at it, donate, donate, donate.

    If nothing else you will have a perfect house, organized and clean and one bedroom you can close the door on.

    SO you have made the decision to get rid of it and its ready to go. Call a friend and get help for them to take it or help you go. Put it in the car straight away, don’t wait till tomorrow, when the bag/box is full take it out, it clears your mind somehow. I know, its the actual taking it is the final step, are you doing the right thing, maybe maybe maybe, will whoever opens that bag or box think what you gave away ok or horrors, you are an idiot giving away rubbish. I put mine on a Sunday in a blue donation bin outside a warehouse op shop, no one knows, where all the things are sorted before being distributed. My husband finds it ok to dump MY stuff not his, at an actual shop, where as I find it hard to do that to the ladies.

    Do you have a friend doing the same thing so once a week meet, donate together and go for coffee, or at least report too, that you have done it.

    Alternatively go public, I will await with interest, its Sunday tomorrow go throw something.


    if you haven’t wanted/used/wore it in 12mnths – it goes
    if something comes in, something has to go out


    I have got the “don’t bring clutter into the house” down fairly well, thinking about what I buy…..if I really actually need it, if I have something else that will do the same job, but it is the back log of years of clutter that has accumulated.

    I have often started to sort it out and then got into the “this might be useful one day” mindset and I know that its time to stop then and there, otherwise I will just find places to store things rather than actually decluttering.

    I have in the past used the “just one bag” excercise and gone and filled “just one bag” either destined for the opp shop or the bin, as a little goal it is achievable rather than the huge task when you look at the room (or whole house).
    I’ll be keeping an eye on this thread for tips to help me as well

    thanks for all the tips!!! Sounds like there are a few of us out there with shed.cupboards of just in cases!!! really appreciate your ideas and input!

    Yes I definitely think about who would have to clean it out if it wasn’t me, and that is a really good tip. And yes i totally agree with your thoughts Kasalia on not being about to find that “item I kept” when I actually needed it… all the time!!! I dream of a neat and tidy house…

    Just one bag is a good idea, or I did see one post somewhere about just one item a day, but not sure that would really work, as not everyday provides the opportunity for the item to actually leave my house to it’s new destination.

    I would really like to have less, on the basis that the less you have the less you need to look after, so more time to do those things that you enjoy and that matter (dusting to me does not matter… so ornaments are being very much targeted!), and ultimately the less space you need to live, so you can therefore downsize in house size.

    I think I am definitely getting better at the less stuff in, although totally guilty of bringing into the house some new (secondhand) cookbooks this week… but they are worthy of their place and a few less worthy may just have to now head out of the house…..

    Will hopefully get some time to achieve some decluttering in the “quiet” period between the kids sports seasons….!!! Spring is just about on us!!!


    Well due to being stuck at home with a sick child I am making some decluttering progress!!!

    Have managed to give away a few unwanted items to happy recipients, which included some broken items that I did not have the skills to fix (hopefully they do!), clothes to people with younger kids and books to others who will use them as whilst I could hang on to them “just in case” they have probably served their purpose for me. Trying really hard to work on books no longer gathering dust on my shelf, when they could be used by someone else. As i said books I find really had to part with, but I feel good that the books will be useful to others, and that is their purpose, not to sit on my bookshelf.

    Also testing out some online selling, small successes, and the money whilst not anything to retire on, is better in my hand than the items cluttering up my house. Feeling quite proud really!!! Plus there is also a car load full heading to the op shop to hopefully find a new loving home. The op shop karma has already been returned my way having scored two quiche dishes which were exactly what I was after on my visit to the op shop.


    Yes I have a ute load to go to the tip tomorrow


    Seems the key is for us to stop it beofre it get into our house/yard…. that’s the other bit I need to work on!!!


    You are not alone on this one….especially with books (I used to work in the trade so you can imagine how many I have collected).  I am getting better – if something comes in – something has to go out and I am going through piles of paperwork (I seem to have to keep every scrap of paper).  The two things I will not surrender are plants (who can ever have too many) and fabric/sewing stuff (I am a keen quilter).  Have managed to get through a lot of fabric (new grandchild) and have a pile for donation.  Will put together some items to sell soon.  It’s nice to know there are others out there …..interestingly the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry are all pretty minimalistic….as for the rest, well looks like your average antique/bric-a-brac/second hand book store.


    Paperwork…. eergghh that is another disaster area, yes I also seem to keep everything. Filing cabinets are a real trap, full of things you will never need or look at. My plan is to reduce the paperwork, so we can just have a two draw filing cabinet, atm there is a 4 draw and a 2 draw. Obviously some things need to be kept (i.e. tax, medical docs etc) but a lot can go. And I think it is getting less with lots of things being digital now.

    With kitchen things I am forcing myself to use items, if I find value in it then I keep it if not it goes. Last night used the electric pizza oven thing I have, which I have not been using, but realised I really do love the pizzas it makes, so it will stay and be used more often again.


    I used the George Forman Grill just to decide whether to give it away or not. Pain to clean, cooked sausages in it and lamb chops but reckon a frying pan will do. Still deciding. The muffin maker I am still wondering about also whether to even bother to make them or not is the issue. I mean how long has it been since I made muffins. Don’t even buy them.


    Yeah I think the single use things can cause your kitchen to overflow. I did used to have a pie maker, which was fun for the novelty factor, but certainly wouldn’t get another one.

    Paperwork… help .. well not really help, I know I just need to do it, I am trying to sort through the filing cabinet, and there is soooo much in there. Deciding what to keep and what to throw is doing my head in. Does anyone have some tips on what they keep, how they keep it and for how long (obviously tax things is 7 years) but how long to people keep things like bills/documents like insurance statements, utiltiies? I’m thinking 2 years is probably enough …


    Yeah nearly there with the filing cabinet!!! Not sure I am yet down to only two draws, but have certainly culled a fair bit. There are a few archive boxes full of things most of which could go now, but some are tax related, so will put them out of sight for a few more years, and then recheck dates and off they go! At least there is less paperwork soming in these days with more stuff being digital!

    Judi BJudi B

    I’m going through my bookcases right now and it is going to be hard to get rid of any books… I have books in the blood my Dad worked with books then my DH worked with them so over the years tons of books have come into the house.

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