Decluttering support thread

LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
Out, damned spot. Rubbish removal ideas.
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  • JapesJapes Shipmate
    I have decluttered my fridge and food cupboards by making a lot of cake. (Some of which I've left with the Tea and Biscuits thread to fortify those coming over the gangplank.)

    Partly I wanted to get some ingredients used up, but we also seem to major in late February birthdays in my workplace and we celebrated them all today. Apart from one who had all day meetings, so we'll finish up the cake tomorrow with celebrating that one.
  • I have been selling books etc on Ebay with mild success -- it's a slow and fussy process but worthwhile sometimes. Now I have foolishly volunteered to help my b-i-l post some items as well. He too is planning a major move, so we'll see...
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    What's the best way to get started decluttering? I'm physically unable to do any heavy lifting, but I need to get to work with the papers and small things. But where to begin?

  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host
    How about starting with a single drawer of a desk or filing-cabinet? Something that doesn't have anything too onerous in it?
  • Yeah, incrementalism is your friend. If you do one drawer a day you'd have every drawer you own done by month's end.
  • Lily PadLily Pad Shipmate
    I also do this - take on one surface or one drawer or one shelf in a cupboard and it seems to help with the feelings of being overwhelmed. I find it helpful to use environmental cues to start doing things. For instance, if I am watching a show or trying to accomplish a specific task, standing up as every commercial starts or as the news comes on at the top and bottom of the hour means I am upright and need to tidy something for a few minutes. Also, having a list of what needs to be done helps. Mine is on the mirror in the bathroom so I can't forget!
  • DiomedesDiomedes Shipmate
    In our house de-cluttering is likened to eating a chocolate elephant! Tiny bite-sized pieces occasionally will do the job eventually as long as you keep going.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Diomedes wrote: »
    In our house de-cluttering is likened to eating a chocolate elephant! Tiny bite-sized pieces occasionally will do the job eventually as long as you keep going.

    Yes!

    This is exactly my method. 15 minutes a day. I’ve been doing this for five years now - we are not totally sorted, but getting there, for sure.

    :blush:

  • In a quest for a missing tool I emptied out two drawers yesterday and cleaned them before putting all the bits back.
  • JacobsenJacobsen Shipmate
    I also started with a cupboard, organising the many photos into home-made albums. It took off from there. And afterwards, room by room, I had a space-clearing ceremony which really did lighten the atmosphere. The inspiration was [url="https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kingston-Clutter-Clearing-Sep-24-1998-Paperback/dp/B00NBCIHMW/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1520036733&sr=1-
    6&keywords=space+clearing"][/url]

    Apologies for not coping with the coding.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    edited March 3
    Surely there's a mistake. The paperback price is 990 pounds. The ideas may be good, but not that good. :confounded:

    Huia
  • Lily PadLily Pad Shipmate
    :smiley: Huia, maybe if you pay that much, you really do declutter everything to make it worth the price. I see the Kindle version is more my speed. I'd be happy if I could keep my dishes done.
  • I'm still working through the bookshelves, being a lot more ruthless than I would be without so many of the books picking up our unwanted funky smell. It's going to be really nice to be able to fit all my books on shelves. These days reading novels on Kindle is so much easier - even though someone is going to have to crowbar the reference and coffee table books away from me.

    Although some books are too tatty to give away, there are many the charity shops will accept, and a lot of outgrown books along with some classic books* that I am going to pass on to one or other of my previous employers to build up their libraries. Two bags gone to the charity shops, another three packed up ready to go.

    * Things like Michael Morpurgo's Arthur and a hard back copy of Little Women in good condition.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    Re extreme prices on Amazon: I've seen a lot of those. They're from private vendors. I'm never sure if they don't understand the difference in currency between countries (e.g., US $1.oo - 65 Indian Rupees.), or they made a typo, or they really want a lot of money.
  • JacobsenJacobsen Shipmate
    Sometimes they want a lot of money, but different vendors can vary enormously in the prices charged for a the same book. It's always worth having a scroll down. One novel which I searched for came up several times over a couple of years. I still had to pay considerably more than it had cost new, but at least the £ cost was in double rather than triple figures.
  • ChoristerChorister Shipmate
    I have managed to get a whole loft full down to 7 boxes, which is a jolly miracle for a lifelong hoarder like myself. One of the best tips I ever heard was to lay out a selection of things you'd love to keep but don't have room for, then take a photo of them. Give away the objects and keep the photo (which hardly takes up any room at all). You can look at the photo from time to time to remind you of the much loved objects, to help keep their memory alive. Genius.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    Thank you for the suggestions! I know just the drawer to start with. (But there are many more - and closets, too. I'm not a hoarder; it's just that papers attach themselves to me as iron filings cling to a magnet, and there are always more coming in.)

  • Ethne AlbaEthne Alba Shipmate
    We're moving; this Really Has given us the kick that we (both) need!
  • SmudgieSmudgie Shipmate
    Well, I am going to post this and then shift my lazy backside off the sofa and go and make a start on the junkheap which is my spare bedroom. Since the Smudgelet left home, this has become a sort of dumping ground/overflow for the rest of the clutter but my man has promised to help me decorate in there and turn it into a study as long as I can create room to manoeuvre by Easter Monday. I know I can do it, it just means making a start with real intent instead of sitting here with hopeful thoughts.

    Seriously, I know that decluttering takes time and doing a bit a day can work wonders. My efforts today will just mainly involve shoving things in boxes and relocating them, but I have begun an earnest attempt to reduce my hoarding tendencies and part with accumulated possessions and... yes, even books (that's how much I love my man!) and am making real progress. It's just that I've accumulated so much over the years that even the huge number of boxes and bags I've filled and relocated to the charity shop/tip/storage facility where I'm assembling boxes of car-bootable stuff seems to have made little visible difference to the environment. It does feel kind of good, though.

    I will use this thread to keep the motivation going. Well done to all of you who are doing likewise. It's good to have partners in crime.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Go for it Smudgie!

    :mrgreen:
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate
    edited March 31
    Go for it Smudgie.

    8 carrier bags of books went to one of my old jobs a week ago, plus unnumbered bags to the charity shops and even some in the bin. We're still finding clothes that are going out, but we need to replace them if we lose any more. (I replaced a bra and swimming costume and they both managed to pick up with whiff and go out with labels attached.)
  • EigonEigon Shipmate
    I've been decluttering (and going "Oh, that's where such-and-such got to!") as I start doing crafty things again. I've finally got an outlet for the embroideries that were sitting under my bed, and pretty much whatever else I want to put on the shelf that I made myself. One storage box under the bed is already empty, and I've had a good clear out from under the seat of the settle.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host
    Good on you, Smudgie! I'm afraid my love for my Better Half has to be shown by not throwing away books.

    As I've mentioned before on this thread, he has copies of organists' journals going back to when Methuselah was in short trousers, and he's adamant that they're essential to his professional study. He chooses to ignore the fact that for at least 15 years, they were in his parents' attic (where I wish they were still).
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    The night before my mother's funeral (14 years ago) my sister and I came across a large box of assorted photographs. Lots of pictures, 99.9% with no identification or date, from our baby pictures to my father's retirement party. There were pictures of people neither one of us ever remembered seeing. All mixed together. We looked through them, laughed a bit and cried a bit, and then put the lid back on. Eight years later my sister died, and her executor shipped the box of mystery photos to me. I've attempted several times to deal with it. I tossed any of the photos of groups that seemed that they might be Dad's co-workers, or my parents' neighbors' annual Christmas cards with photos of the grandchildren, etc. But each time I had bad dreams afterwards, probably because of the realization that everyone in the family pictures has died.

    This week I tackled it again, first sorting into a few categories (e.g., pictures of me, of my sister, my parents, etc.). No bad dreams. the next day I went through the pictures of myself -- not too depressing, because I'm still alive. This coming week I hope to tackle another category or two and hope the bad dreams stay away.

    There are a few of my maternal grandparents (at least I think so!), so I'll mail some of them off to my cousin -- there are also some that I think are of his father.

    It's a slow, depressing project, but I can't just dump out the whole box. I have no difficulty tossing out duplicates, really bad pictures, and the mysterious ones I can't identify.

    Other than my cousin (whom I haven't seen in over 60 years), there's no family to pass them onto. Like me, my cousin has no children, nieces, nephews, etc.

  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Pigwidgeon - I have a similar box that I will have to face someday. :confounded:
  • CathscatsCathscats Shipmate
    Piglet wrote: »
    Good on you, Smudgie! I'm afraid my love for my Better Half has to be shown by not throwing away books.

    As I've mentioned before on this thread, he has copies of organists' journals going back to when Methuselah was in short trousers, and he's adamant that they're essential to his professional study. He chooses to ignore the fact that for at least 15 years, they were in his parents' attic (where I wish they were still).

    Oooh! I could have written exactly these words. Life with a professional organist and pipe-work enthusiast summed up exactly! The other night he appeared with a box file which he inherited from another organ fiend, deceased. I fixed him with a beady eye and asked if he had left it to anyone in his will, and he has! (But not to me....)

  • Having helped Miss S and SiL to move house last Monday, my abiding Lesson Learnt is Don't Take Anything You Can Do Without!

    They had so many boxes of St*ff that you could have built fortresses with them - and they moved into a house half as big again!

    Mrs. S, looking about for St*ff to be disposed of!
  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    I'm cleaning Casa Nen ready for the arrival of some of the family later and am trying not to be too depressed by the amount of Stuff there is in nearly every room. I really do need to get properly decluttering this year. Fifteen minutes a day sounds achievable. I guess I should start today, really, but I can't sum up the motivation. Hence, wandering about on the decks of the Ship.
  • SmudgieSmudgie Shipmate
    Well, I sort of made progress in that the room to be decorated looks lovely with barely anything in it and the process of painting has begun. The rest of the flat looks even more cluttered in comparison and my storage place is full to bursting, though a fair bit of it we plan to car-boot soon.

    The Smudgelet had said to get rid of anything (it was his room) but I didn't want to take that responsibility so sent him photos of each thing and asked him to confirm in writing! Hmmmm... he is almost as bad as me. Needless to say, only one item on the list found itself in the car boot box.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited April 3
    Haha!

    I just boxed Boogielet’s things up and took it to his place the next time we visited - he wasn’t pleased! :tongue:

    I’m having a go at the dreaded ‘under the sink’ today. How does so much stuff fit in one small cupboard? :grey_question: :grey_question: :grey_question:

    (I’m sure I’m the first to use the grey question emoji - do I get a prize?)
  • SmudgieSmudgie Shipmate
    The Smudgelet is in a small flat with no storage and will be moving again this summer - and doubtless muggins will be doing the moving so the less stuff there is to transfer from his place to the next, the easier for me. But when he gets a home of his own........
  • SmudgieSmudgie Shipmate
    Not exactly decluttering, but do I get "decobwebbing" credit?
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    We put all our son's stuff in storage when he moved out but left his things behind. He does live in one room so doesn't have space for a microscope, sewing machine etc. At the moment we're payign for the storage, but have told him that come May (when the stuff will have been in store for a year) it's up to him to pay. It'll be interesting to see what happens.
    This does mean we now have a very nice spare room/study.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host
    Smudgie wrote: »
    Not exactly decluttering, but do I get "decobwebbing" credit?
    Absolutely - double points, as that counts as Spring Cleaning! :mrgreen:
    Boogie wrote: »
    ... I’m having a go at the dreaded ‘under the sink’ today. How does so much stuff fit in one small cupboard? :grey_question: :grey_question: :grey_question:

    (I’m sure I’m the first to use the grey question emoji - do I get a prize?)

    I hate to disappoint you, but Bishop's Finger got there first, in a post in TICTH on 30th March. Sorry about that.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    edited April 3
    As for decobwebbing - Georgie-Porgy went into a cupboard and came out with her face covered. It was interesting watching her wash her face afterwards. She is not so obliging as to take on housework in a regular way though. :unamused:
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    Huia--

    I presume G-P is feline...? ;.)
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Yes, Georgie-Porgy fat'n'fluffy. She was a stray who wandered in and appointed me as her slave when George Bush was President and was named after him because she invaded whether she was wanted or not. She is, of course, more beautiful and intelligent than him, however she has actually has never been fat, it's just that I'd never had a fluff-ball before and thought she was.

    The fact that I was already slave to two other cats didn't disturb her in the least.
  • SmudgieSmudgie Shipmate
    Wow, the front room looks lovely for the massive reduction in clutter. Shame about the rest of the flat - not only do the other rooms still have their own quota of clutter, but they've gained several loads of extra clutter relocated from the front room (and somehow I have to get them semi-habitable by this evening as I'm having visitors to stay).

    But it's given me a bit of motivation and my man is utterly amazed at a) how many books I've agreed to send to the car boot sale / charity shop and b) how little difference it seems to have made! Next room on the agenda is the bedroom. I can do this.
  • Lily PadLily Pad Shipmate
    Smudgie, I'd like to say you are inspiring me, and you are, but you are also making me want to go get another cup of tea. Well done! Remember, flat boxes might fit underneath the bed for more storage. :naughty:
  • SmudgieSmudgie Shipmate
    Lily Pad wrote: »
    Remember, flat boxes might fit underneath the bed for more storage. :naughty:

    You think that that hasn't already occurred to me? How long have you known me? The problem is, if the bed gets anything else stored underneath it, I'll need to buy a stepladder to get into it!


  • CathscatsCathscats Shipmate
    For a while we had a bed that my husband had raised on upright logs, so that we could get more underneath. But in this case it was a train set, functional. The logs were only jettisoned recently whe. I pointed out that they were crumbling and a midnight accident was imminent. :wink:
  • Lily PadLily Pad Shipmate
    Lol - I used to use "under the bed" when I was a teenager and now have a strict rule against it. So sorry you have already used up that space. I don't think logs are a good idea unless you happen to have a long bed skirt. Good luck, Smudgie!
  • And what's under my bed are boxes of Ship's mugs and a flat box of yarn.
  • JacobsenJacobsen Shipmate
    Not my yarn stash by any chance? :grin:
  • Doubt it, it only has cotton or acrylic yarns, being as I'm allergic to wool (and a few other fibres).
  • EigonEigon Shipmate
    I've just been given a bag full of Star Trek: The Next Generation videos, since I still have a working video player. I'm not sure how I've managed this, but I moved some stuff off the video/DVD shelves, and re-arranged some other shelves, and now I have more space than when I started!
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    In the past few days I have taken a box of clothes to a Hospice thrift shop and a box of special interest books to an appropriate special interest organization. My approach is to declutter slowly but steadily so that when the time comes to move to senior living I won't be overwhelmed with clutter. For a few years now I've actually been pretty good about the "steadily" part, and my closets and shelves are a lot less crowded. (I'm also getting much better about not buying so much stuff!)
  • JacobsenJacobsen Shipmate
    Not really decluttering, but in the wake of a weight loss resulting in my being two dress sizes smaller, 90% of my wardrobe has just gone to charity shops. A few items which I'm really fond of are being dismantled and resewn to the new specifications. And I can justifiably buy new stuff! :wink:

    It doesn't take long to refill a wardrobe, however... :grimace:
  • JacobsenJacobsen Shipmate
    Sewing equipment has a habit of filtering down from my sewing cupboard into stashes behind the sofa, in a living room alcove, inside the hall wardrobe and various large storage boxes. Back, ye dogs!

    In addition, my hall space is an overcrowded mess. Really time to reorganise and get rid of the seagrass chest AND CONTENTS. Also ancient and overlarge coats and fleeces.

    Any chilly sheep out there?
  • EigonEigon Shipmate
    I've just heard that Bernie the Bolt, who supplies fabric for re-enactors, will be at the Steampunk event I'm going to at the end of the month. I do not need more fabric....I do not need more fabric....
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