DeCluttering and Organizing the HOME


#1

Please share your tips.

I was home for the last 10 days (back to work today). Worked on this and still have so much more to do. Every corner of the house I turn to there is tonnes to be thrown out. DS is 6.5 and I have only in the last week started throwing out his clothes and toys. So one can imagine my collection.
I always thought I would have another but… so will get rid of everything. If we do have another child we will have to start over:)

Since we intend to move Summer 2007, it has to go as I do not intend to cart it all.


#2

You might consider joining freecycle.org if the things you’re throwing away would be of interest or usable to others! That’s what I’ve done as i get ready for the baby and throw things out. :slight_smile: You’d be surprised at how the most random thing can be attractive to someone…just be safe and careful about giving out your info.


#3

Good for you for starting so far ahead of your move! Stick to it and do a little every day, even if you only have time to throw out (or get ready for donation) one thing. Let it be your “bedtime ticket.” I only gave myself about 2 months to pack for our move a few months ago, ran out of time, and ended up having to pack junk that I still needed to go through. I have been working on it, but I still have things that need sorting out. So don’t let this overwhelm you and whatever you do, don’t tell yourself “I’ve got plenty of time–I’ll do this closer to the move!” :slight_smile:


#4

Oh, I LOVE decluttering!!! My mom is a keeper of all things, just hates to throw things out, but I LOVE organization and pitching things! Makes me feel real good to look at something and toss it in the trash. Or in the Hannah Home pile if it’s something the shelter can use.

My suggestion - take one room at a time. I usually start with one place, take everything out of that place (for example our master bedroom closet) then go through it. Keep or pitch? Do we actually use this? I make a trash pile, a give-away pile and a keep pile and then put all the keepers back nicely, then take care of the give-aways and trash. Then I move on, either that day or another day. Right now we’re clearing out a back guest room which has become our attic space. We do an hour a night. Go at it slowly or you’ll go nuts! Just take your time and before you know it, you’ll have a lot less stuff to deal with.

Then the key to keeping things organized of course, is putting things where they go from the get-go. An extreme example - My mom thinks I’m nuts, but really, if I hate something the moment I get it, then I’m not gonna keep it and let it clutter up my life until it’s “cleaning day”. Christmas cards that are only signed with no personal note and I know I’ll just stash in some cubbyhole go right into the trash, unless the card giver actually took time to WRITE to us - therefore Grandma’s and Grandpa’s are about the only cards we save. Wedding presents that were just AWFUL went either right to the trash or the give-away pile. The same with baby gifts. Christmas gifts - the same. My in-laws always give us a recording of their Protestant church’s Christmas songs and we don’t like the songs (most are secular), so the package gets opened and then goes right into the trash. Aren’t I TERRIBLE??? :smiley: My MIL gave me an awful birthday gift - trash. My hubby got some really weird socks that he can’t wear with anything - give-away. Anyway, you get the point. the nice thing is that our methods must clearly be working because lots of people comment on how clean and uncluttered our house is. Everything has its place.

Now if I can just get my husband to throw out that stupid plastic 5" alligator he acquired in college that he thinks is just too awesome and I think is just plain taking up space! :slight_smile: It has a mouth that opens and closes, that’s the only reason he likes it. It’s place is in our master bedroom closet, husband’s side, top shelf. Always there, looking at me.


#5

I’m an organizational freak and my husband is a neat freak and we don’t have children, so our house is almost always guest ready. We both work full time but we manage our 2800 square foot home without a maid. Here’s a couple things we do:
[list]
*]Review all our clothes every six months and donate anything that no longer fits or looks good to charity. We don’t save things for a rainy day! Anything that hasn’t been worn in a year gets donated.
*]Review boxes stored in the attic and basement about once a year. It is helpful to remember what we have and to weed out undesirable items. We each have a box or two of memorabilia, but otherwise we donate everything we haven’t used within a couple years.
*]We have storage shelves in our basement for giveaway items. Whenever we encounter something in daily life that we don’t need, we stick it there. We drop stuff off at St. Vincent DePaul about once every 3 or 4 months.
*]When our younger siblings got their first apartments/houses, we let them “shop” in our house and basically take whatever they wanted. In most cases, we didn’t even need to replace what they took because we had more then we really needed already.
*]We “straighten up” after each actively, so the home is always in order. My husband will not go to sleep at night until the house is in order – this includes emptying the sink of dishes. When your house is always in order though, it only takes a few minutes to tidy it.
*][font=Arial]We entertain about once a month and we will spend several days before each event cleaning the entire house ceiling to floor (dusting, glass cleaning, vacuuming, swiffering wood floors, moving furniture, ect …). The anticipation of guests motivates us to clean everything two or three times over, so it is spotless. [/font]
[/list]


#6

I’m probably the worst person in the world to be giving such advice because my home is definitely cluttered.

But the general rule is to divide things into three groups: Save, Give-away/sell, and Throw-Away. The hard part is deciding which things go in what groups.

When it comes to baby things, I’ve decided to save very little. Each child has one box of momentos that I’m saving for me. Otherwise, clothing, toys, and furniture go away.

I try to look at things and think how I’d feel if someone offered it to me free. Would I be appreciative or would I be offended that they were trying to dump it on me? Then I give away or dispose of the item as I think the other person should have done.

Some items, such as bulky items or old electronics, require special disposal. Try to set aside a day 3 or 4 times a year to deal with such items.

The things I have the hardest time with are books and financial records. I have far more of these than I have room to save. Plus DH and I have very different ideas about what is important. So we just do the best that we can.


#7

I have no advice -LOL :smiley: — my kids make fun of me (not in a disrepectful way or anything, we all laugh over my oddities) but I am constantly re-organizing and re-scheduling. It never works! Seriously. LOL. :rolleyes: I am constantly filling bags and taking our “not workin’ for us anymore” goodies down to the thrift store. I literally make a weekly trip! I add shelves or I take them out and store them for my next craze of “I gotta get this place in order”. Either way, I waste a lot of time re-organizing. Oh well. I’m just talking because I already did this week’s big toss-out! The funny thing about all of my re-scheduling and re-organizing, is that I’ve made little nuts out of my kids. They re-stack shelves at the grocery store if the shelves look sloppy! So if you see a crazed Mom of 5 at Walmart and her kids are fixing up the shelves, say “hey, how are you Wannabesaved!” just kidding. :stuck_out_tongue: Happy packing and organizing.


#8

[quote=Gwyn]Please share your tips.

I always thought I would have another but… so will get rid of everything. If we do have another child we will have to start over:)

.
[/quote]

we should probably start a thread to collect stories of all of us who have finally gotten rid of the baby stuff when we had reason to believe our families were complete, only to be surprised when all the baby equipment and maternity clothes are gone. DD’s inlaws (her MIL is one of 13, FIL one of 10) are a little superstitious that way, and they exchange and borrow these items among the cousins, NEVER give them away with finality.

rule number one for anyone who is moving, get rid of it before the move, don’t pay to move stuff you don’t use. this goes triple for books.


#9

Tip:
Make decluttering a habit for a lifetime.
Some areas in your life may need decluttering more often…
My office gets a decluttering at least 1x a week. My clothes closet and drawers get it 2x a year. Figure out what is best for you and make it habit.


#10

One of my acquaintances limits her children to three outfits a piece. She has four kids–the oldest is 9. They do most of the laundry. I’m sure my preteens would rebel at three outfits, but I like the idea of limiting outfits.


#11

[quote=Gwyn]Please share your tips.

I was home for the last 10 days (back to work today). Worked on this and still have so much more to do. Every corner of the house I turn to there is tonnes to be thrown out. DS is 6.5 and I have only in the last week started throwing out his clothes and toys. So one can imagine my collection.
I always thought I would have another but… so will get rid of everything. If we do have another child we will have to start over:)

Since we intend to move Summer 2007, it has to go as I do not intend to cart it all.
[/quote]

Try this – rent a storage locker for a month and put a bunch of “questionables” in it – stuff you’re not sure if you should pitch…if after a month you haven’t thought about or gone to get them, seriously consider selling at a yard sale…if you make it to there and actually sell the stuff, you’ve totally earned that money!! LOL!

In all seriousness, we listed our house today, and for the past week have been prepping it for showings…ugh. So much junk and no where to put it!! You can’t have stuff “out” so it all has to get hidden somewhere (the storage locker was our saving grace) – but I have to say, it’s REALLY nice in this house right now!! I don’t want to leave!! List your house on the market…that’ll kick you in the butt to get tossing!!


#12

Thanks everyone. Great tips, ideas and suggestions. Keep them coming, please.

Yikes, I even have some wedding gifts that I have not used and probably never will. Also some boxes in the basement that we have not touched since our last move into this home 7 years ago. :frowning:
I had 3 huge garbage bags of DS’s clothes, called our church to ask when the Vincent de Paul truck would be there and they said not till the spring. Could not wait that long so pitched them in the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation box. Well 1 week of driving around with it was enough.
I think I will have a garage sale in the spring for all of DS’s ride on toys and collection of helmets, the wedding gifts, …


#13

[quote=JMJ Theresa]One of my acquaintances limits her children to three outfits a piece. She has four kids–the oldest is 9. They do most of the laundry. I’m sure my preteens would rebel at three outfits, but I like the idea of limiting outfits.
[/quote]

Is that even possible? I don’t have children yet, but my friend with a 2 year old says she goes through at least 3 outfits a day due to feeding disasters or over soaked diapers.


#14

flylady.com/

FlyLady is a great resource and it’s not just about decluttering.It’s about taking care of yourself, taking care of your family, and having peace.

These are the first couple of paragraphs from her page:

Are YOU living in CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome) like Franny in the pink sweats? Do you feel overwhelmed, overextended, and overdrawn? Hopeless and you don’t know where to start? Don’t worry friend, we’ve been there, too.

Step through the door and follow FlyLady as she weaves her way through housecleaning and organizing tips with homespun humor, daily musings about life and love, the Sidetracked Home Executives (SHE™) system, and anything else that is on her mind.


#15

[quote=leaner]Try this – rent a storage locker for a month and put a bunch of “questionables” in it – stuff you’re not sure if you should pitch…if after a month you haven’t thought about or gone to get them, seriously consider selling at a yard sale…if you make it to there and actually sell the stuff, you’ve totally earned that money!! LOL!

In all seriousness, we listed our house today, and for the past week have been prepping it for showings…ugh. So much junk and no where to put it!! You can’t have stuff “out” so it all has to get hidden somewhere (the storage locker was our saving grace) – but I have to say, it’s REALLY nice in this house right now!! I don’t want to leave!! List your house on the market…that’ll kick you in the butt to get tossing!!
[/quote]

FlyLady (link above) has a great tool for those moving. It’s free, but in Adobe Acrobat.


#16

Thank you for posting that, Bruised Reed! I was talking and talking to a friend about that site one day and could not for the life of me remember what it was called!!! It has been bugging me (no pun intended) like you wouldn’t believe!

:smiley:


#17

When looking at something, just ask did I use this three times this last year? No – its gone.


#18

I will second the Flylady website. I joined about three weeks ago, and it has changed my life. No exaggeration. I’m the worst housekeeper on the planet, and it’s not all the kids’ fault! I was bad before they came along. Now I’m “Flying” and it’s slowly getting better. I’m taking pride in the appearance of my home, and my dh is noticing the difference. (At least, I think he is. I keep asking him, “Isn’t the house looking better?” and he answers, “Yeah.” LOL)


#19

so the package gets opened and then goes right into the trash.

sanctareparata, I hope you at least wait until they leave before the stuff gets trashed!:smiley:

I can sympathize, I have often wanted to do just that. But I am no where near this point. I am in serious need of one of those dumpsters to pull right up to my door, and a week off to go through everything. Go organizers! We, the pack-rat challenged salute you!


#20

[quote=sanctareparata].
Now if I can just get my husband to throw out that stupid plastic 5" alligator he acquired in college that he thinks is just too awesome and I think is just plain taking up space! :slight_smile: It has a mouth that opens and closes, that’s the only reason he likes it. It’s place is in our master bedroom closet, husband’s side, top shelf. Always there, looking at me.
[/quote]

I’m truely sorry that this torments you as it does thought you may not believe that since picturing it amuses me so. “Always there, looking at me.” Bwah.

I know how frustrating that must be. snerk


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.