Decluttering support thread

11718192022

Comments

  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Circus Host, 8th Day Host
    I dread the day we are going to have to empty my inlaws' house. It's not untidy, but there's just so much stuff. Like the cupboards and cupboards full of cassette tapes, or the five (count'em!) wheely shopping trolleys which allegedly serve different purposes.

    I think there's some truth in the idea that people whose parents have been through a lot of hardship tend to surround themselves with a lot of stuff. My inlaws' parents went through the war in France, and I suspect this does go some way to explaining why they're always prepared for a siege.
  • My parents moved out of their old house and just LEFT everything (well, lots and lots of things) for the next person. I didn't know you could do that. Furniture, etc.
  • Martha wrote: »
    I read an interesting article recently by a child of immigrants, saying that because they had lost almost everything when they were refugees, they now hung onto everything else. The Marie Kondo philosophy of "less is better" was not for them. I think many of the generation who went through war and rationing have a similar mindset...
    My mother lived through the Great Depression, World War II rationing, etc. As an adult she held onto everything. She'd known what it was like to do without, and she didn't want to go through that again. I've known others of that generation who did the same thing.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    My parents moved out of their old house and just LEFT everything (well, lots and lots of things) for the next person. I didn't know you could do that. Furniture, etc.
    I did that when I left Fredericton. My brother had advised me that it would probably work out cheaper to buy things when I got here than ship them over the Pond, and when I asked my estate agent about it, she said the buyers were happy for me to "take what I want and leave what I don't".

    As it happened, the seller of my new flat was thinking the same, and for an extra £500 over the asking price I got a place entirely kitted out from Ikea. Not perhaps the most upmarket furniture emporium, but decent quality and more-or-less my style - I've always liked Ikea's stuff, but never lived within easy striking distance of a branch.*

    * David and I used to make Expotitions to Ikea in Edinburgh when we lived in Belfast - the branch there didn't open until after we left.
  • My parents moved out of their old house and just LEFT everything (well, lots and lots of things) for the next person. I didn't know you could do that. Furniture, etc.

    Mostly here in the UK you just can't - the contract states that the property must be left empty of anything not nailed down/screwed to the wall, and if you leave Stuff, the buyers have a claim against you for the cost of getting rid of the same.

    Mind you, the vendors of Miss S's home left a lot of cr*p - they didn't appear at all well organised and bequeathed my daughter and her husband a load of old furniture they didn't want or need and couldn't burn, so it had to be lugged to the dump (including an old commode <eeek>)
  • Our son just sold his beach house on the coast to make a big move. The buyers are going to use it as their second home so asked if they could purchase it furnished. I am sure it did not hurt that my daughter-in-law is an interior designer by trade. They were delighted at the thought of not paying for a big move and furnishing their next home all over again. Lucky them, says I still sorting and packing.

  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Circus Host, 8th Day Host
    Trouble with my inlaws' place is that we're quite likely to end up living in it. It will be inherited jointly by husband en rouge and his two sisters, and if we sell our house, we could buy the sisters out. Everyone would be quite happy about this arrangement, I think, but the downside is that we are going to have to deal with the Stuff™.
  • Just remember the mantra One man's trash is another man's treasure.
  • When I was a teenager, we moved into my paternal grandparents' house, moving them into a bungalow in a bit of what had been the garden. So much stuff. Tea chests that hadn't been unpacked from the packing up by the army when they moved back to the UK.
    (Anglo-Indian army serving in India, Mesopotamia in WW1 and Egypt at the start of WW2)

    My parents also cleared them out of the bungalow when they died one after another some years later.

    My maternal grandmother had had to deal with her parents and downsizing after her husband died. Still masses of stuff.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Just remember the mantra One man's trash is another man's treasure.

    That's very true. My parents' house in Orkney was built in the 60s, had very little done to it since the 80s and was full of 60s and 70s furniture. Luckily for us, the people who bought it saw it as "retro" rather than "dated", and kept a fair bit of it.

    There was still a hell of a lot of Stuff though - my brother and sister-in-law were total heroes in getting it cleared.
  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    Raising my head above the parapet on this thread as, yet again, I'm resolving to make this year a Decluttering One. My mum wasn't a hoarder but there was still a fair bit of Stuff when we came to clearing the family home and I don't want there to be more to shift than necessary if (a) we move house at some point or (b) we pop our clogs and the Nenlets have to cope with it. I agree about books, though - I've found out the hard way that I have to be very careful about what I declutter in that department as I end up wishing I hadn't and replacing some of the volumes. I still get emotional about the books from my family home that we took to the tip... :cry:

    Paperwork is my nemesis, particularly sentimental paperwork (letters and things from the past that hold memories), and my study is littered with my halfhearted and then abandoned attempts to create a workable filing system. I also have a box and a bagful of paperwork from my last job, which I haven't looked at since I was made redundant last March.

    In order not to feel entirely inept I remind myself of two things: Mr Nen is even worse at decluttering than I am (car parts in the loft, anyone? Boxfuls of books that I've decided we don't need and he's vetoed?) and most of the clothes and shoes filling the cupboards are his not mine. The other thing is remembering the house of some university friends that we visited a couple of years ago. I thought our house was cluttered; theirs was (presumably still is) on a whole new level. :astonished: When I feel discouraged I remind myself that things could be a lot worse.
  • @Nenya 🤣
    Match your car parts and raise you 2 heavyweight boat jacks. No, not mine, something we found when replacing a ceiling.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Please tell me that the "heavyweightness" of the boat-jacks wasn't the reason the ceiling needed to be replaced! :flushed:
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    We have ten box files for all our paperwork. As soon as one is full the old stuff is purged and shredded.

    I make sure books go to the book bank when Mr Boogs is out of the house!

    ‘Sentimental’ stuff is not included and is kept in a large under-bed box.
  • Hmmm...maybe the boat jacks were to wedge failing ceiling joists in place, or some such?
  • I gifted my last item online today, that I really needed to unload. All the houses and fairies from my fairy garden. They went to a little girl who was so excited. I loved giving them to her. I watched through the door as she danced up and down on the porch while her mom opened the box. What a relief. Now all I have left to dispose of is an oak file cabinet and an ironing board. With only 2 items per year, the trash company will pick them up if I am unable to give them away.
  • Well done, GI, and cool re the lucky little girl!
    :)
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Well done indeed! :)
  • What a lovely way to rehome the fairy habitat.

    I have found a home for a dead laptop, old net book and old iPad - someone will refurbish them and pass them to schools to help with home learning.
  • Nenya wrote: »

    (car parts in the loft, anyone? )

    No, silly, the loft is for sleeping in, surrounded by semi-obsolete electronics instrumentation and radio projects. Car and bike parts go under the floor, and in the shed erected up high in the ginnel so that motorbikes themselves come in at ground level. Recycled timber and steel - sheet and bar - further down the ginnel, and anything else, like the parquet floor which really is going down in the kitchen one day, in the {whisper} church boiler room. Simples :smile:

    (Now everyone else at church is too old for CA week, I trade in old shite for them instead. It gives me an excuse and stops my hoarding getting entirely out of control. I recommend it as a worthwhile hobby).
  • The ironing board has a taker. I reposted it as an ironing board by day, throw a cloth over it and it becomes a wine bar by night. It worked, some guy is coming to pick it up tonight. LOL
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Well done indeed - just shows what a bit of imagination can do. :smile:
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    GI, you're a genius! <notworthy> :mrgreen:
  • IIRC, one of you posted about some IKEA furniture that needs a home. If you're listing it somewhere, you might add that "it's perfect for IKEA hacking". Lots of people are into transforming/hacking IKEA items, and there are sites about it. Might encourage an IKEA hacker to come get your item.
  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    The ironing board has a taker. I reposted it as an ironing board by day, throw a cloth over it and it becomes a wine bar by night. It worked, some guy is coming to pick it up tonight. LOL

    That's brilliant!

    I'm making half-hearted attempts to sort my paperwork-cluttered study. Progress is very slow and I'm easily distracted.
    Nenya wrote: »

    (car parts in the loft, anyone? )

    No, silly, the loft is for sleeping in, surrounded by semi-obsolete electronics instrumentation and radio projects. Car and bike parts go under the floor, and in the shed erected up high in the ginnel so that motorbikes themselves come in at ground level. Recycled timber and steel - sheet and bar - further down the ginnel, and anything else, like the parquet floor which really is going down in the kitchen one day, in the {whisper} church boiler room. Simples :smile:

    Mr Nen would agree with you about semi-obsolete electronics instrumentation as well as car parts in the loft. I hadn't thought of insisting that he sleep up there with them. :lol:
    (Now everyone else at church is too old for CA week, I trade in old shite for them instead. It gives me an excuse and stops my hoarding getting entirely out of control. I recommend it as a worthwhile hobby).

    Thank you for that (and please come and talk to Mr Nen about this extremely worthwhile hobby). Christian Aid Week used to be very big here, lots of house to house collections and coffee mornings. Sadly, as you say, the supporter base has aged considerably and I don't think there's much chance of collections being resumed even when they become possible again.

  • ChastMastrChastMastr Shipmate Posts: 49
    Now that I am being more serious about my health (inc. diabetes), and I need to get rid of a bunch of Things I Should Not Eat, and there are food items which Cubby loved but I do not, or even can't eat without allergic reaction (pistachios), a friend is coming after work today to take away a bunch of this food, and this will give more space for food I can/should/will eat. :) <3 Also, I'm keeping that fridge and freezer from getting overloaded the way it was. Cramming your fridge and freezer will make it struggle to work harder, which also means you end up buying food that goes bad faster, and I never want that again. (And, well--as posted in All Saints, Cubby (my partner, QuakerCub) passed on 6 Jan 2021--so dealing with how much food to buy for one corporeal person. I believe he'll always be with me, and us in God's hands, but I don't need to cook for two unless I have leftovers (and, please God, as soon as possible, the pandemic is over and I can have people over, inside my home, eating food and things, like we could do in the long-ago before-time), so that will affect how much stuff to put in the fridge and freezer. Oh, yeah, and the new dietary changes, like three smaller meals a day, at regular times, rather than two huge ones eaten practically randomly. And what kind of food. And so on. All of that will mean more variety, but also not so much of one item on a regular basis. (This weekend when I was pondering my grocery list, I was startled--again, prayers welcome for this whole thing, for Cubby's soul, and for me--when I realized, "Oh my God. I won't be buying so many eggs anymore." Because of course I've made breakfast for two for seventeen years. Those little things you don't think about have really been the big startling moments.)

  • No, silly, the loft is for sleeping in, surrounded by semi-obsolete electronics instrumentation and radio projects.
    I'm sure the loft is where you store the redundant argon laser...at least it is here.

  • Hugs and prayers for you Chastmastr.
  • The odd things in the loft sounds familiar!
  • edited January 13

    No, silly, the loft is for sleeping in, surrounded by semi-obsolete electronics instrumentation and radio projects.
    I'm sure the loft is where you store the redundant argon laser...at least it is here.

    I have some uv tubes up there, but not a laser! I sleep up there as a mouse fart will wake me, and, errr, others in the house snore heavily. If I had a laser, I could research internal non-cosmetic rhinoplasty... :)
  • ChastMastr wrote: »
    Now that I am being more serious about my health (inc. diabetes), and I need to get rid of a bunch of Things I Should Not Eat, and there are food items which Cubby loved but I do not, or even can't eat without allergic reaction (pistachios), a friend is coming after work today to take away a bunch of this food, and this will give more space for food I can/should/will eat. :) <3 Also, I'm keeping that fridge and freezer from getting overloaded the way it was. Cramming your fridge and freezer will make it struggle to work harder, which also means you end up buying food that goes bad faster, and I never want that again. (And, well--as posted in All Saints, Cubby (my partner, QuakerCub) passed on 6 Jan 2021--so dealing with how much food to buy for one corporeal person. I believe he'll always be with me, and us in God's hands, but I don't need to cook for two unless I have leftovers (and, please God, as soon as possible, the pandemic is over and I can have people over, inside my home, eating food and things, like we could do in the long-ago before-time), so that will affect how much stuff to put in the fridge and freezer. Oh, yeah, and the new dietary changes, like three smaller meals a day, at regular times, rather than two huge ones eaten practically randomly. And what kind of food. And so on. All of that will mean more variety, but also not so much of one item on a regular basis. (This weekend when I was pondering my grocery list, I was startled--again, prayers welcome for this whole thing, for Cubby's soul, and for me--when I realized, "Oh my God. I won't be buying so many eggs anymore." Because of course I've made breakfast for two for seventeen years. Those little things you don't think about have really been the big startling moments.)

    FWIW I found strongly flavoured savoury food helped me miss sweetened stuff less, and cope with smaller portions.
  • ChastMastr wrote: »
    Now that I am being more serious about my health (inc. diabetes), and I need to get rid of a bunch of Things I Should Not Eat, and there are food items which Cubby loved but I do not, or even can't eat without allergic reaction (pistachios), a friend is coming after work today to take away a bunch of this food, and this will give more space for food I can/should/will eat. :) <3 Also, I'm keeping that fridge and freezer from getting overloaded the way it was. Cramming your fridge and freezer will make it struggle to work harder, which also means you end up buying food that goes bad faster, and I never want that again. (And, well--as posted in All Saints, Cubby (my partner, QuakerCub) passed on 6 Jan 2021--so dealing with how much food to buy for one corporeal person. I believe he'll always be with me, and us in God's hands, but I don't need to cook for two unless I have leftovers (and, please God, as soon as possible, the pandemic is over and I can have people over, inside my home, eating food and things, like we could do in the long-ago before-time), so that will affect how much stuff to put in the fridge and freezer. Oh, yeah, and the new dietary changes, like three smaller meals a day, at regular times, rather than two huge ones eaten practically randomly. And what kind of food. And so on. All of that will mean more variety, but also not so much of one item on a regular basis. (This weekend when I was pondering my grocery list, I was startled--again, prayers welcome for this whole thing, for Cubby's soul, and for me--when I realized, "Oh my God. I won't be buying so many eggs anymore." Because of course I've made breakfast for two for seventeen years. Those little things you don't think about have really been the big startling moments.)

    Yes indeed! I'm so sorry.

    One thing I'm finding helpful as we adjust to having the Voracious Appetite of Doom away at school is making a batch of something and then freezing half of it in containers that are the right size for a future meal. Today, for example, I'm making hot and sour soup, with the intention of freezing most of it for days when we're not up to cooking. Tomorrow is a casserole type thing (same plan) and the next day a stir fry which won't freeze well, so that'll have to be smaller. But this plan has given us a lot more variety and much less pressure in the "eat this before it goes bad" area.
  • Knitting NoraKnitting Nora Shipmate Posts: 3
    Hi All. Looking for thoughts/ a kick up the backside. I have done a reasonable amount of decluttering when my husband moved in last year, but the flat does often seem more like a craft space than a home....I want to keep everything but do have a crazy amount of stuff....any thoughts on how to store or how to be ok with getting rid of....
  • Graven ImageGraven Image Shipmate
    edited January 13
    Put things in boxes and if you have not used it in a year, throw away the box unopened. Mr Image did that with seven boxes of art supplies and found he only got into two boxes for things over the year so the rest went, donated to a local art center. Giving it for children to use who qualified for free art classes though a grant made him happy.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Today I tackled the pile of paperwork. Some of it needed filing, some went into the shredder. I also decluttered the previous contents of some of the files. Again, some needed shredding, but quite a bit went into the recycling bin which will be emptied tomorrow. A good feeling.
  • Hi All. Looking for thoughts/ a kick up the backside. I have done a reasonable amount of decluttering when my husband moved in last year, but the flat does often seem more like a craft space than a home....I want to keep everything but do have a crazy amount of stuff....any thoughts on how to store or how to be ok with getting rid of....

    Places to store - think 'where would I look for 'x' if I needed it' - then put it there!

    I'm an outlier regarding the 1-year or 2-year approach. I get interested in projects (which is to say, I manage my life) by thinking as problems arise 'oh, I have just the thing to make a start on that.' The fact of having the thing, is the catalyst for the whole approach / project, even if I have to buy this and that to get to the finish. Starting with a blank slate and a cheque book, which is many peoples' approach, I find impossible. That means a _lot_ more storage than a 'normal' person, I imagine. But it also means stuff gets done a lot cheaper, and in ways my builder mate describes as 'organic' (think Harry Potter and the Weasley's house). I imagine crafting would work in a similar way - so if you can keep your stash but keep it in such a way that you are inspired by what is in it (and remember what is in it!) then I encourage you to do so. I'm not a big one for goal-orientated projects. There's only one destination, 6 feet under.



  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    I'm an outlier regarding the 1-year or 2-year approach. I get interested in projects (which is to say, I manage my life) by thinking as problems arise 'oh, I have just the thing to make a start on that.' The fact of having the thing, is the catalyst for the whole approach / project, even if I have to buy this and that to get to the finish. Starting with a blank slate and a cheque book, which is many peoples' approach, I find impossible. That means a _lot_ more storage than a 'normal' person, I imagine. But it also means stuff gets done a lot cheaper, and in ways my builder mate describes as 'organic' (think Harry Potter and the Weasley's house). I imagine crafting would work in a similar way - so if you can keep your stash but keep it in such a way that you are inspired by what is in it (and remember what is in it!) then I encourage you to do so. I'm not a big one for goal-orientated projects. There's only one destination, 6 feet under.

    That's an interesting perspective; thank you. It takes away some of the pressure I feel to get rid of loads of stuff. I was thinking just a couple of days ago how everything in my study is here for a reason and a lot of those reasons are still valid. As I think I've said before, I've regretted some of the "decluttering" I've done in the past.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited January 14
    I’d divide it into five sections -

    1. Use all the time
    2. Use often
    3. Use occasionally
    4. Use very sporadically
    5. Never use

    5 gets donated/sold/given away immediately
    4 gets put in the least accessible place - loft etc
    3 get put in accessible but not easy place eg under the bed
    2 on handy shelves
    1 on your desk/workspace

    But plenty of things don’t actually involve projects and need thinking about. Things that are easily obtained again like spare plastic containers etc need to go. There are plenty of things I get rid of which I once thought ‘that might come in handy’. Yes - it might, but it’s not a rare thing and I can always get one if I need one. The space it leaves is valuable for storing the things in 1-5. It’s a new way of thinking which has really helped with my decluttering.

    :)

  • edited January 14
    I think I could move a little in your direction, Boogie (and thanks for your encouragement, co-conspirator Nenya!). One problem I have in moving from the ‘legacy’ set of storage locations, is that now my short-term memory is fecked, I go back to the ‘old’ place and think ‘ah yes, I moved it’. Perhaps I could pin up notes saying ‘x is now located at y’ in the place where it used to be. I’m only just 50...

    In the museum where I volunteer, we just rationalised part of the yard so the things we won’t work on for ages are right at the back. Since everything weighs several tons and needs a big fork lift to move it, getting this wrong will involve a long day of heavy Tetris :)
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    I think I could move a little in your direction, Boogie. One problem I have in moving from the ‘legacy’ set of storage locations, is that now my short-term memory is fecked, I go back to the ‘old’ place and think ‘ah yes, I moved it’. Perhaps I could pin up notes saying ‘x is now located at y’ in the place where it used to be. I’m only just 50...

    I’ve never had a decent working memory (ADHD and executive function problems) so new systems definitely need writing down at first!
  • I was able to give away my fake Christmas tree today. It just seemed easier than packing it up to move. I keep it in a bag in the closet for most of the year. The lights still work but it is about 8 years old and next year I can now cut a real one from my son's farm, and then return it to him for mulch or firewood. I had an artificial tree because the trash company here will only pick them up the 3 days after New Year, and I want to leave mine up to 12 night. I was very surprised that someone wanted it in January, but it turned out to be a popular item.
  • I just found out that the local thrift store which said it would not take any new donations until Feb. needed furniture. So I offered them a chest of drawers, and two chairs with the understanding that they would take three bags of clothes as well. Win Win what a relief I am almost done. I have a call into a handyman for a dump run and I will be ready to move. The job seemed overwhelming to start.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Well done again!
  • Thanks Piglet, I am so relieved.
  • Well done, @Graven Image. You are inspiring.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Graven Image, you are inspiring. Well done.
  • You are envy inducing! :wink:
  • Thank you all, side note when stuff gets moved out you get to see all the dust left behind. I honestly thought I had a clean house, until this week. Mr Image in jest suggested we just open the back door and use the leaf blower.
  • The glass jar and bottle shelf was overflowing yet decluttering most to the Very local glass recycling bin seemed cruel.
    Mr Alba solved my dilemma by putting in an order at our refillery store- which delivers. They need the jam jars, they took the jam jars.

    Hurrah!
  • Always good to put things to good use. Three cheers for Mr. Alba
Sign In or Register to comment.