Decluttering support thread

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  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Eigon wrote: »
    ... Bernie the Bolt ...
    I'm showing my age - the first thing I though of was this. :blush:


  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    Piglet wrote: »
    Eigon wrote: »
    ... Bernie the Bolt ...
    I'm showing my age - the first thing I though of was this. :blush:

    Me too. :wink:
  • Well, we spent all morning dis-assembling a very old and rusty set of garage shelves prior to our move (Mr S appears convinced that removal companies insist that all your furniture is reduced to its component molecules before they will move it- nothing I can say will convince him otherwise). However half-way through the second set, which was becoming more deformed by the moment, I managed to sell him the idea that we could just Throw It Away and Buy Some New Ones - so we slung it all into the boot and hurried off to the tip - sorry, Household Waste Recycling Site - before he changed his mind. Oh frabjous day! :grin:

    Mrs. S, wishing she'd been more convincing first thing this morning

    PS he is also convinced that even holes in the walls of the garage have to be filled, sanded and painted over - help!
  • When we retired 15 years ago we sold our family home and moved. I called up my son and said," you need to come get the two boxes of scuba gear you have stored in the garage we are putting the house up for sale." The rest of the conversation went like this:
    "That is not my scuba gear it is Steve's."
    " Who is Steve?"
    "You remember, Steve I went to high school with 8 years ago."
    " Well tell Steve to come get his stuff."
    " Oh he moved out of the country about five years ago."
    Moral of this story make sure you know whose stuff is whose in your house. Truly some of our clutter might not be of our own making.
    Graven Image wondering how in 15 years she now has stuff to get rid of again.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    15 years is long enough to accumulate industrial quantites of Stuff, even when you had a really ruthless clear-out for your previous house-move.

    Thus speaks the voice of experience. :anguished:


  • JacobsenJacobsen Shipmate
    Just reorganised my hall space, with a new set of shelves for shoes and boots. Much muttered cursing and the judicious use of a hammer to get the "no tools required" pieces to hang together. However, it looks good, and the inevitable jettisoning of a seagrass trunk to the charity shop has improved the look. And the contents of the trunk? some to the wardrobe, some to the loft. I have been avoiding the loft since an infestation of RATS, but as that has been cleared, it's time to work up the courage to use it again.

    Does anyone else find that a near total reorganisation of some areas is necessary every 3-5 years?
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    It doesn’t matter how ruthless I am there is still clutter!

    It’s a campaign with no end - but I shall continue regardless.

    Today my shelves in the study.

    :smile:
  • EigonEigon Shipmate
    To Piglet and Nenya - I'm pretty sure that Bernie the Bolt, the fabric salesman, chose his name because of Bernie the Bolt on the Golden Shot.
  • I'm back decluttering fabric stashes. I now have two pairs of working shorts from battered trousers that were in the mending pile, my daughter has a jeans skirt from a beat up pair of jeans, and I am making myself some pyjama bottoms out of the same left over fabric my daughter had a nightshirt out of about 20 years ago. It is covered with large frogs. I'm appliquéing some cut out frogs to a large white t-shirt from the fabric stash to match.

    (I said Bernie the Bolt to my LARPing daughter and she was very enthusiastic, likes his leather - and I'm sure she doesn't know anything about the original. Very keen to buy fabric from him.)
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Eigon wrote: »
    To Piglet and Nenya - I'm pretty sure that Bernie the Bolt, the fabric salesman, chose his name because of Bernie the Bolt on the Golden Shot.

    I had a feeling he might have!
  • I have signed up for an online art class. Not for the art alone, but because it will force me to clean out a small passage way between house and garage that has tended to collect clutter. I now need a place to keep my supplies and to do my art.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Graven Image - I'm impressed. Now you have something to look forward to after the work of decluttering. It's a win all around.
  • daisydaisydaisydaisy Shipmate
    edited April 2018
    Another successful "decluttering by surprise" session - I opened a drawer and in the rummage to find what I was looking for I realised just how many old jars, tubs, bottles of creams etc are well past the 12m they suggest (I can't even remember opening some of them). Doubting the 12m guidance I tried out some hand cream and ended up with solidly caked hands. So full bin = emptier drawer.
  • daisydaisydaisydaisy Shipmate
    edited April 2018
    I'm back decluttering fabric stashes....
    Me too - as well as ploughing on unfinished projects I ran a couple of patchwork workshops over the Easter weekend, hoping the stash would shrink. But I have a feeling it has grown :-(

  • sabinesabine Shipmate
    Still working to get rid of 75% of my stuff. I'm in deep, folks! Some days it feels like I've got a project, other days I just do what I call a "Goodwill grab." (Move through the house and grab things to out in a box destained for Goodwill.)

    I had to get over trying to find the "right person" for certain items. It just slows me down. I figure the right person will be shopping in the day my former possession hits the shelf.

    Morale goes up and down...
  • I have unplanned for company coming in two weeks. That should spur me to clean out the closet in my guest room,. It has turned into dumping space for clothes I do not wear, and books I have read. Bad thing is they are winter coats and such and thrift store wants spring and summer things. I guess I will box them up and save them for fall. At least it will clear hanging space in the closet. Not sure about the books? Senior Center only wants paperbacks, and Library only takes books for a month before their twice yearly books sale. and then only 6 at a time. I have about 20. What do you shipmates do with used books?
  • sabinesabine Shipmate
    Ask your local recycling authority. Sometimes books will be taken for recycling.

    I know, it's a shame...

    Have you tried Upcycle?

  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate
    edited April 2018
    8 carrier bags went to the schools I work in - reference and cookery books, children's reading and some adult classics - Hitchhiker's Guide. Jamaica Inn, Austen and a whole lot more. At least as many carrier bags went to the charity shops that take them (British Heart Foundation), and some went in the recycling bin as not in good enough condition to go anywhere.

    I may have to move and had 4 tall bookshelves, a small bookshelf and a pile several shelves high against one of the tall bookshelves to sort through. Now the books all fit on the shelves with some tempting space.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Good book news. The place where my husband practices with his band have a book exchange. He brings one a week home and I send four a week back.

    I have decided to retire in July (I only work one day a week) so lots of school and arty stuff will be given away, which should mean I have space to organise my clothes, at last.

    :mrgreen:
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    ... Now the books all fit on the shelves with some tempting space.
    Yield not to temptation, CK! :smiley:

    @Graven Image - are there any Little Free Libraries near where you live? During the summer months, there's one up the road from us, beside the letter-boxes, and it's a grand way of getting rid of a few books.


  • ...Now the books all fit on the shelves with some tempting space.

    I believe it was two hours ago that you posted that. Is there still any empty space? I find that books continue to expand until shelves are at their bursting point, no matter how much you try to thin out the books.

    (P.S. My local library happily accepts used books all year long. They have a book stall inside the library, as well as book sales 2 or 3 times a year.)
  • Nope, really haven't bought any paper books. I may have to move in 3 weeks, so following the forced major declutter I haven't replaced much and mostly essentials: bedding and towels, so we both have two towels and two sets of sheets; clothes, so we have more than one or two garments - I have bought t-shirts in a range of colours* because they cover me better than my own t-shirts and are what I will be living in this summer.

    I have also bought a replacement bed for my daughter as she can't climb up into the high bed she's had since she was a teenager any more, but the old bed will go out, either to the charity shop that deals with furniture or Freegle.

    *red, green, cobalt blue, pale blue and white - the white and blue will continue to be useful for Guides. Other than different shades of red, blue and green, the only other colour available is the sort of yellow that makes me look ill.
  • Went through a years worth of need to be filed papers yesterday and found if you wait long enough you can just throw half of them out. : )
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    I can't declutter properly at the moment, apart from surreptitiously removing old newspapers from the piles from which I am strictly forbidden to remove newspapers and putting them out mixed up with my Guardians. Giving space to a genuine hoarder - and I don't think any of you are - is dire.
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    Penny S wrote: »
    I can't declutter properly at the moment, apart from surreptitiously removing old newspapers from the piles from which I am strictly forbidden to remove newspapers and putting them out mixed up with my Guardians. Giving space to a genuine hoarder - and I don't think any of you are - is dire.

    If this is your house, I would think you have every right to get rid of old newspapers, etc. If the house is a fire hazard, it's the owner's responsibility.

    IANAL, JMHO, etc.
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    Not, currently, a fire hazard. It's contained. And there's no means of ignition. (Electricity under control.) I'm not that stupid.
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    edited May 2018
    Penny S wrote: »
    Not, currently, a fire hazard. It's contained. And there's no means of ignition. (Electricity under control.) I'm not that stupid.

    Sorry I wasn't clear. I've heard of people being fined (or in serious cases, jailed) because clutter is in itself a hazard if firefighters or paramedics cannot get through rooms or hallways. I'm not insinuating that your house is like that, but it may be possible that your "houseguest's" clutter is your responsibility and you may be entitled to remove it (maybe moving it to her house?).
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    {{{{{Penny}}}}}

    Just off the top of my head: Can donors there get tax deductions if they donate items to certain charities? And does your guest pay taxes? If so, maybe she'd be willing to donate a few things somewhere? You'd get more space, and she'd get tax deductions.

    Though I suspect she wouldn't go for that...
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    She doesn't pay anything - and we don't get tax deductions for donations anyway. It is a complicated situation, and, like autists, she doesn't like change, nor recognises that others may not have the same attitude to things as she does. She is not happy being in someone else's house, and hangs on to what is "hers" as a form of stability.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Penny S wrote: »
    I can't declutter properly at the moment, apart from surreptitiously removing old newspapers from the piles from which I am strictly forbidden to remove newspapers and putting them out mixed up with my Guardians. Giving space to a genuine hoarder - and I don't think any of you are - is dire.

    Just do it.

    It’s your house.

  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    I’ve decided to ‘properly’ retire in July. I work one day a week teaching art - so that means a lot of stuff I’ll be able to declutter and a whole room to use for storage/guest room.

    Good news on the decluttering front? Yes - if I’m disciplined. Watch this space! :mrgreen:
  • But Penny she did the same in her own house.

    And any piles of stuff are frowned on, says someone who was told off for piles of books and papers from teaching at one inspection by the landlord.

    In other news I finished a quilt out of old t-shirts at the weekend - patchwork of kids t-shirts quilted along the designs (Winnie the Pooh Disney t-shirt, front and back, a couple of octopuses/octopi, a sea-horse and a lion), edged and backed with an old sheet. The quilted panel backing was a remnant of cotton flannel and the wadding came from a pillow that exploded. My daughter wanted to hang on to the t-shirts which were just adding to the fabric stash. It's now on her bed as an extra layer for the chilly mortal.
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    There would be consequences. As the occupational therapist said, looking at her place, "There is a mental health issue, isn't there?" Only the OT, in the agencies concerned, by the way, has mentioned that issue. We get lectured, instead, on her rights as a person with deemed capacity. And as my neighbour, who had a similar mother, asked "does she go ballistic?" I could walk out when she took against what we had done in her place while she was being treated for CO ten years back. More difficult here.
    Meanwhile, there are two recycling bags full hidden in one of my nooks, waiting for Friday and collection day.
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    It's your house. If she wants to save crap, let her store it at her own house. Or let her son take care of it. It's turning your home into a health and safety issue.

    Boogie wrote: »

    Just do it.

    It’s your house.

  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I agree with Boogie and Pigwidgeon - you really should take control. I know this will sound harsh, but maybe it would be the perfect reason to have her taken into care of some description, as she and her stuff are making your house dangerous to live in.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    Penny--

    You may have already tried this. But maybe your own doctor could write a note saying that taking care of this woman is endangering your own health, and part of that is due to the woman's hoarding, and you can't do it any more (doctor's orders), and other arrangements need to be made for the woman's care?

    Then make many, many copies and give them out to everyone related to the case: all her care providers, caseworkers, nurses, OTs, etc. Keep the original note from the doc in a safe place. Maybe put a scan of it on your computer, phone, whatever.

    IMHO, don't tell the woman anything about that until you've given out the letters and talked with some of the people mentioned above.

    FWIW, YMMV.
  • Lily PadLily Pad Shipmate
    Penny S, the more you write the more I feel like you are being victimized or being a martyr or something like that. I know you are accepting these restrictions on your life as a "normal" thing but, from the outside, you are putting up with stuff that would be totally unacceptable to most.
  • Penny you seem like a good and caring person who deserves to get her life back. Your situation sounds like it has gotten well out of control. Please take care of yourself.
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    I didn't know whether to post this here or on the moving thread, but decluttering is now a priority as we are moving after twenty years. We have never been more than six years in a place before and my word have we some stuff. God alone knows what is in the loft, and while three of our children have moved out there is plenty of their stuff to go. Ebay and charity shops will get quite a bit, we can fill a skip or two with what is, frankly, rubbish, and then we can probably move into a far smaller home.
  • sionisais wrote: »
    I didn't know whether to post this here or on the moving thread, but decluttering is now a priority as we are moving after twenty years. We have never been more than six years in a place before and my word have we some stuff. God alone knows what is in the loft, and while three of our children have moved out there is plenty of their stuff to go. Ebay and charity shops will get quite a bit, we can fill a skip or two with what is, frankly, rubbish, and then we can probably move into a far smaller home.

    I was amazed to find what we had collected in what seemed a short time. Hope you can enjoy lightening the load. Best wishes.

  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    sionisais wrote: »
    ... God alone knows what is in the loft ...
    That's what I'm thinking about Dad's old house (not that we'll actually be involved in the clearing - we can't afford to cross the Pond until it's been sold, so it'll be up to my brother and sister). I don't think I've ever even been in the loft, let alone know what's up there. There's over 50 years of accumulated stuff, most of which would be of no value at all to anyone, not even us.

  • sionisais wrote: »
    I didn't know whether to post this here or on the moving thread, but decluttering is now a priority as we are moving after twenty years. We have never been more than six years in a place before and my word have we some stuff. God alone knows what is in the loft, and while three of our children have moved out there is plenty of their stuff to go. Ebay and charity shops will get quite a bit, we can fill a skip or two with what is, frankly, rubbish, and then we can probably move into a far smaller home.

    Oh you have my entire sympathy, BT! We didn't even downsize - our new home has *cough* six bedrooms, but we had to dump so much stuff to charity shops, jumble sales, freecycle etc. What's worrying me is that, having decluttered all our stuff, AND the kids' stuff, I am now facing clearing Mum's 4-bed dormer bungalow where she lived for 50 years, without ever - as far as I can tell - getting rid of anything! Oh joy...

    Mrs. S, wondering what you do with 3 sets of golf clubs :eek:
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    ... Mrs. S, wondering what you do with 3 sets of golf clubs :eek:
    I'd be hard-pushed to know what to do with one. You could always donate them to the President of the United States - he plays golf so often his are probably getting worn out ... :naughty:
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    Mrs. S--

    Maybe there's someplace you could donate the clubs? Like a program for disadvantaged kids, or a school, or a senior center? A golfing association might be able to direct you.

    Good luck. :)
  • EigonEigon Shipmate
    I've been doing a bit of forced de-cluttering this morning - when I found I had clothes moths in some fleece!
    I used to do a lot of historical re-enacting, and demonstrating spinning and weaving, and I have a big basket full of supplies that I can just pick up and go. Except I haven't had the opportunity to pick up and go since the 2015 Agincourt celebrations locally. The people who used to run the re-enactment group I was with have moved to Scotland, so I just haven't been doing anything.
    So today the time had come to decide that I was never going to do those demonstrations again, and to get rid of the affected wool, and sort out the spindles and so on.
    One good thing came of it, though - I gave all the samples of the different plant dyes that I used to display to a lady who will actually use them for dyeing her hand spun wool.
  • Lily PadLily Pad Shipmate
    Good for you, Eigon. I hate it when that type of thing happens. I've been doing some forced de-cluttering that should be a bit more pleasant but is not as I get ready for company today. A lot of work has made things look better but I sure wish I was better at this. About to go pass the dust mop and hope for the best.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I feel your pain, Lily Pad - my dusters rarely get any exercise unless we're having company!

    memo to self: do some dusting ... :blush:
  • Lily PadLily Pad Shipmate
    The dust mop was duly passed, a walk on the beach was had, and the meal was eaten. All went well except for that tension filled moment when someone began to open a bedroom door thinking it was the bathroom and I shrieked that that was not the bathroom door. :) Needless to say, the bedrooms were not "company ready" seeing as they held all the things that I didn't seem to have a designated spot for. I do wish I was better at this and if someone is coming to the house regularly, I do keep things tidier but I rarely have guests so it had spun out of control. In any case, every dish is clean including the ones that we used at lunch and I will try to keep these rooms tidy despite the sewing session that will need to begin tomorrow.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    I always promise myself that I’ll clean more systematically, but I never keep to it. Two rooms are always clean and tidy. The rest - hmmmm.

    Now if I spent less time on the Ship ...
  • Polly PlummerPolly Plummer Shipmate Posts: 44
    Two more than here, Boogie!
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