Decluttering support thread

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  • JacobsenJacobsen Shipmate
    I found my wool stash! (It was under the living room couch.) :j
  • JacobsenJacobsen Shipmate
    Hey, I posted an emoticon! :joy:
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    Yay! :)

    I'm catching up on some cleaning/decluttering.
  • LothlorienLothlorien Glory
    edited May 2018
    So am I, although DIL and I did a lot recently. However, now we just have settlement to be arranged, things become more definite. 12 weeks was what was in their contract which makes settlement around mid-late July.
  • daisydaisydaisydaisy Shipmate
    Having procrastinated about the next phase of decluttering and cleaning it's come back to bite me on the nose! I went away on 3rd May, knowing what I needed to do next (including a bag of hay), and came home almost a week later sporting a plaster cast on my leg, so all plans are again procrastinated (is that a word?) but now I have visitors each day who are seeing the mess I usually live in! Today's visitor took the hay away with her for Guinea pigs, so at least that is no longer making its way through the house. The next visitor who asks what they can do to help will be pointed towards the vacuum cleaner!
  • We are having guests this weekend. It forced me to sort though a few boxes that I had been storing on the floor of the guest room for about six months. Long enough to know that I do not need to keep very much of the stuff, so off to thrift shop it will go. Without the expected guests I am sure the boxes would have remained there for the rest of the year.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    Something of interest:

    "30 Home-Refreshing Ideas You Can Tackle in 5 Minutes or Less". This is one of Apartment Therapy's Weekend Projects. It includes decluttering, cleaning, etc. AT is a fun site, including tours of apartments, so you can get ideas.

    Have fun!
  • We made another trip to the dump Household Waste Amenity Site today - cardboard, cardboard and more cardboard from our move and the resultant deliveries, plus a load of packing paper that I'd rolled up and fastened with tape for transportation (we still have a ton out in the store, but this was just Too Much). It's a delight to find that the staff are cheerful and helpful - when I asked about the paper, the chap said 'oh, that can go in with the cardboard, but you've rolled it the wrong way. You need to roll it in the other direction!'

    ('it's an awful long day if I can't raise a laugh now and again' he said)

    Mrs. S. chortling to herself
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Golden Key wrote: »
    Something of interest:

    "30 Home-Refreshing Ideas You Can Tackle in 5 Minutes or Less". This is one of Apartment Therapy's Weekend Projects. It includes decluttering, cleaning, etc. AT is a fun site, including tours of apartments, so you can get ideas.

    Have fun!

    I did the doormats - I like this site, it makes me remember things which are never on my radar :blush:

  • daisydaisydaisydaisy Shipmate
    I found the list a bit daunting so I'm going to print it, cut the tips out and put them in a bowl - that way I can dip into it and do whatever I pull out.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    daisydaisy wrote: »
    I found the list a bit daunting so I'm going to print it, cut the tips out and put them in a bowl - that way I can dip into it and do whatever I pull out.

    Good idea, I’ll do that too. There are some I won’t put in the bowl eg ‘sort out your tea collection’. I have four teas, all of which get used regularly, no sorting out needed :smile:
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    I did it and the first one I picked out was the best - my reward!

    “Forage for flowers or greenery and put them in a vase.”

    Here is the result, a pretty spray :)

  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    edited May 2018
    That is pretty!

    If I did the pulling-out-of-a-hat thing, I'd hope for the tea collection - our teabags (all Earl Grey) are in one tea-caddy beside the kettle, and require no sorting whatsoever. :mrgreen:
  • daisydaisydaisydaisy Shipmate
    Very pretty - I do like this time of year for the flowers. I seem to have beaten this year's Chelsea trend by planting alliums which are doing well.

    I've not yet printed it - that's something to look forward to when I'm more mobile.
  • So, the roof leak means, once it's been repaired, I'll need to pull up the carpet in my bedroom. Since that means breaking down the furniture, I guess it's as good a time as any to review what's been "stored" under the bed and in the dresser drawers. I think I'd like to go through my clothes and maybe work towards a more minimalist/capsule wardrobe. Time to get rid of the - I'll fit into that again mentality and things kept "just in case". Looking to you all for inspiration!
  • daisydaisydaisydaisy Shipmate
    Woken by he dawn chorus and full of inspiration I have decluttered all my knitting needles and patterns - trigger thumb means knitting is off limits now, but I've kept yarn and the few crochet hooks that I have, hoping I can at last get the hang of that. Bamboo needles and knitting books will go to a friend, metal needles to a charity I help with, and patterns will be the source of great hilarity over fashions and poses.
  • LothlorienLothlorien Glory
    edited May 2018
    daisydaisy wrote: »
    Woken by he dawn chorus and full of inspiration I have decluttered all my knitting needles and patterns - trigger thumb means knitting is off limits now, but I've kept yarn and the few crochet hooks that I have, hoping I can at last get the hang of that. Bamboo needles and knitting books will go to a friend, metal needles to a charity I help with, and patterns will be the source of great hilarity over fashions and poses.

    Part of my place has already been packed and put into storage before sale and move. I did discover a box of yarn under my bed, but needles and almost all the yarn was packed away by DIL. She did a tremendous amount of work, but I should have kept a closer eye on things. Patterns I could find on net but I do not want more needles.

  • I have just decluttered an overflowing t-shirt drawer, caused by only wearing newly bought collared polo t-shirts this summer (to try and protect my arm, shoulders, chest and neck). I have removed the t-shirts I suspect that I will not be wearing in the future either (scoop necks, sleeveless or very short sleeves).

    @daisydaisy my daughter has taught herself to Tunisian crochet to get around the impaired mobility in her hands and thumbs - she's made a couple of jumpers that way.
  • Both our kids are young adults, both living away from home in rented flats, both come home regularly.

    My son's room here is just horrendous; every time he comes home he claims he doesn't have time to do anything about it. When I suggest doing just one thing, say, his desk or his bedside cabinet, he claims he wants to do it "properly." It hasn't had a whole-room hoover in...well, years.

    Meantime we are moving towards making our daughter's room function as a guest bedroom. It was recarpeted and redecorated last year, and this year we're replacing her single bed with a double. (The new double is currently next to the old single, but on her next visit home we're going to get rid of the single and rearrange.)

    Our son came home for the weekend and he slept in our daughter's room, because it is so much nicer than his one. We have offered to get a new bed for his room, once he has sorted it, but I see no prospect of that actually happening.

    I'm getting really frustrated. His room has the door closed, so it's out of sight and out of mind, but it has the potential to be a really nice room. We'd like to replace his current desk and chair (which we got second hand) with a better desk and chair, which would also give my husband a useful desk area when our son isn't here (i.e. most of the time). I don't want a blazing row, but our counters sweet reason (if you just clear this corner...) with alternative sweet reason (I don't want to "just do a corner...I want to do it all!")

    At the moment we have enough to do planning our daughter's room, but once it's done...
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Box it all up, take it to his place next time you visit.

    That’s what we did. He wasn’t pleased but he had no choice - it’s his junk!
  • Well, if he's preferring to sleep in his sister's room, then he realises his room is a tip. Why should he get the option of sleeping in his sister's room if he has made the mess he doesn't want to live in? Because what happens when they are both home and he's taken over her room too?

    I would tell him that you are planning to sort out his room when you have finished doing up his sister's room, and you think you'll be ready to do that by, say, September. He has the choices of:
    1. Sorting out his own room - but he has to have done this by September;
    2. Leaving you to sort out his room and living with the consequences;
    3. Asking you to help him sort out his room, but it has to be done when you are free to help and by your deadline.
    I would also tell him that if he opts to do it himself, then when September, or whenever, comes along, and it isn't done, then you will do it.
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    Progress has been (too) slow but we have homes for some stuff and others have been marked for disposal. We have put out a call to the no-longer-at-homers to come home, empty the loft (dammit, we can't get up there any more) and, we suspect, shove a load of it into a skip. Some of what is there is still wanted and some belongs to the landlords!
    Meanwhile, any notion we may have had to dispose of books has gone by the board.
  • We didn't realise he was going to sleep in his sister's room; it was a spur of the moment decision on his part. He came out of the shower room, and realised he had the choice to turn left into his dusty, cluttered room, or right into his sister's much more comfortable and fresh room. No-one with any sense would choose his room over hers. It's just annoying me that he's acknowledging that, but still resisting doing anything about his room.

    Boogie, we would need to hire a van, and he could not fit everything into his flat.

    CK, I'm concerned about triggering some sort of anxiety thing. It's not that he'a complete slob; every time he comes home he cleans the shower room with bleach and anti-bac wipes because, bizarrely, he's mildly germ-phobic and has been since an over-zealous lesson on germs in primary school. When I visit his flat I'm not allowed to help with the dishes, because unless he's washed them himself he isn't convinced they have been done properly. So his claims that he's delaying until he can do it all "properly" actually makes a weird sort of sense.

    But his room is getting to beyond awful.
  • I didn't think you'd necessarily agreed him sleeping in his sister's room, but it could be a starter for a conversation, along the lines that he doesn't like his room any more than you do, and what can we do about it? Particularly as you're hoping to do his room up when you've finished his sister's room.

    I wouldn't start with that set of options as an ultimatum in a discussion, I'd have them in mind when discussing the situation, and aim to have an agreement at the end that this is what we, jointly, are aiming to do. And that you are very willing to help him to sort out sections, and clean the area cleared.

    My daughter still has her old room, it has often been sorted out with my help and in discussion with her. She had the furniture in her studio flat when she was working in industry and bought most of it home* when she came back. There are a couple of boxes in the hall cupboard we do need to get out and go through at some stage.

    *When she moved out she had a high metal bed with a computer desk underneath. The bed came back but the computer desk, which had been her kitchen furniture/desk went to a friend newly moved into an unfurnished flat who used it as a computer / TV stand and desk - the only furniture other than a bed. When he moved on, that desk went to another friend in a bedsit and is now fitted with sink as the kitchen unit with the high side shelving housing the microwave and food, shelves underneath and drawer unit as storage.

    The bed has just been handed down to the little girl downstairs as a way of dealing with the small second bedrooms in these flats, and my daughter now has a standard bed (because she couldn't climb into the high bed any more).
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    NEQ, I fear we too have this problem with our younger son(who does at least live with us permanently) and also with the stuff that belongs to the other sons (almost all of that is in the loft). They really are bears with furniture, especially the eldest
  • When Master S left home, Miss S and I cleared his room out (because she wanted it!) All the furniture went, the carpet, the curtains. We packed up all his books and put them in the attic. It took us three months :astonished: but it was worth it. Unfortunately even after 15 years, we still had the books and records and CDs, because he has never had anywhere to store anything - and they are all down in his Grandma's garage until such time as his house purchase goes through (hopefully this month :woohoo:)

    I hear all the things you say, NEQ, but he is not being fair to you by carrying on like this. Maybe you'll have to move house? :naughty:

    The Ruthless Mrs. S
  • Chatting to my daughter, one of her flatmates had similar anxiety issues around cleaning and tidying. She said that the things that worked with him were:
    • setting a date when he could spend all day or weekend cleaning up - making sure that it didn't clash with anything else he should be doing;
    • cleaning up for him to a level of cleanliness he could cope with
    (It was a combination of his "issues" and my daughter waiting for hand surgery had me spending 6 hours cleaning their joint kitchen one weekend.)
  • NEQ--

    Sorry you're going through that.

    I had a friend who was on the other end of the situation, though it wasn't a matter of clutter. (More about family dynamics. Very different sort of family situation than yours.) My friend was from the same town where she went to college. Early on, a parental unit told my friend to remove all their stuff, or it would be gotten rid of. Friend didn't take it seriously. Friend lost all their stuff in their room at home--including books, records, etc. Much grieving.

    I don't know what you *should* do. But I like the idea of boxing the stuff up and taking it to where he lives. (If necessary, ship it by a land-based service, like UPS. There should be a cheap, slow option. Some people use it for moving household items.)

    If you decide to dispose of his stuff, think twice. If you put that in motion, then (based on my friend's situation) be crystal clear that you *will* get rid of all his stuff, if he doesn't take it by a certain date. Tell him you are serious. Remind him periodically. Phone, e-mail, whatever. E-mail would provide documentation, if his stuff goes and he complains.

    BTW: It might be that he doesn't yet feel ready to live away from home, grow up, etc., so he wants to keep his old room frozen in time.

    Good luck!
  • NEQ, what a difficult situation. A while ago friends introduced their offspring to the option of self-storage which worked out as a good half way point in the process. I think realising the cost of the storage helped speed the offspring into sorting out their treasures.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    My brother put all his daughters stuff in storage until she had a place big enough to take it to. But that’s a costly solution - unless you have a loft it can all go into?
  • After I moved across the country (i.e., too far to deliver my stuff by car), my mother would occasionally ask me about specific things. She'd say she was cleaning out a certain area of the basement, attic, or my old room and ask if I wanted my old collection of whatever. If I said I did, she'd ship it to me; if I didn't, she would donate or dispose of it. That system worked out well for us -- I wasn't suddenly inundated with tons of my old possessions, and she gradually cleared out her house before it came time to sell it.

    (My sister was more like NEQ's son and insisted on keeping her bedroom at my parents' home pretty much the same as it had always been, including long outgrown and long out-of-date clothes in her closet. But she wound up being the one who helped Mom get the house ready to sell, and the one who -- bless her heart -- was Mom's caregiver for the last eight years of Mom's life. I read the Aging Parents thread regularly to remind myself of what my sister went through.)
  • MooMoo Kerygmania Host
    When my parents moved after my brothers and I were adults, they allowed us each to fill one trunk which they would take to their new house and store for us. It worked out very well. I got rid of most of my old stuff and saved the few things I wanted.
  • Boogie wrote: »
    M unless you have a loft it can all go into?

    The older I get, the more I disapprove of loft storage for anything other than Christmas decorations! Especially I disapprove of loft storage in churches... at our last place, among at least a couple of skip-loads of assorted cr*p, there was a discarded card rack (in addition to the one stored on the stairs to the balcony :rolleyes: ) and a microwave, of all things. Now if you need a microwave, you do not need it to be up in a loft at the end of a dodgy loft ladder, do you?

    In other news, on another ship in a galaxy far far away, I asked for advice about getting rid of a big, old dolls' house lent to me over 65 years ago. In the end, I did nothing and brought it with us: luckily we still have space for it, because the Intrepid Grandson thinks it is wonderful and would spend all his time playing with it :heart:

    Mrs. S, happy to indulge him in this

  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited June 2018
    We are getting a skip next month and the shed and loft will be tackled.

    We had the intention that only Christmas decorations and puppy beds (which get bigger as they grow so we have four) would go up there. But stuff has since sneaked up, I know not how :rolleyes:
  • Loft = attic?
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Golden Key wrote: »
    Loft = attic?

    Yes, the boarded roof space, no windows.

  • ThomasinaThomasina Shipmate
    My husband died in April, and my daughter and I are faced with the job of sorting out all his bits and pieces. I kid you not, there is TONS of it! He never, ever, threw anything away. What do I do with statements, accounts, invoices, magazines, newsletters, and other pieces of paper that in some cases go back over 50 years??? There are cardboard boxes of smaller boxes, and we have to make certain that there is nothing in them (?teeny boxes??). Where can I hire an industrial shredder? Where do I dispose of such a mass of paper? Possibly bit by bit into our recycling wheelie bin, but is there a better way? At the moment, I've shut the door on it all and said "later", but as always, later turns up!
  • I really feel the pain of everyone with adult children's (Acs) Stuff!
    Our AC all all totally different, so we had to resolve every lot of stuff differently. Sadly we only realised this after infuriating some Acs, but hey...

    FWIW:
    One required detailed advance warning of items to go, but over the years has whittled down the pile to one shoe box.

    Another put head in sand, leaving rear in the air looking silly and couldn't engage. But suddenly ....on one visit, all was done.

    We do have a delightful AC sorted everything the very first time was asked to!


    One wanted emails with pictures.

    Mitigating circumstances allow one AC to continue to be tardy about relocation.

    "Oh, if it's still there I don't want it"....was a wonderful thing to hear from one. All that required relocation there was massive book, which went to a happy home with friends.

    Relocating a pet from one AC was interesting.

    Moving Should have resolved everything for everyone...sadly it hasn't.
  • Boogie wrote: »
    ... unless you have a loft it can all go into?
    Not likely to be an AC problem but......

    Occasionally I collect Singer sewing machines (the gorgeous black & gold hand wound ones) from people to take to a charity that refurbishes them before sending them for a new life with apprentices in Africa. I have lost count of the number of these machines that need to be fetched from attics/lofts/roofspaces. It's hard enough getting them down, but however did they get put up there? And I'd not be sure of being underneath where it was stored. I guess it's been part of sorting out an elderly relative's place and is one decision that can be left until another day - I have plenty of those!

  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Thomasina wrote: »
    My husband died in April, and my daughter and I are faced with the job of sorting out all his bits and pieces. I kid you not, there is TONS of it! He never, ever, threw anything away. What do I do with statements, accounts, invoices, magazines, newsletters, and other pieces of paper that in some cases go back over 50 years??? There are cardboard boxes of smaller boxes, and we have to make certain that there is nothing in them (?teeny boxes??). Where can I hire an industrial shredder? Where do I dispose of such a mass of paper? Possibly bit by bit into our recycling wheelie bin, but is there a better way? At the moment, I've shut the door on it all and said "later", but as always, later turns up!

    There are shredding companies.

    Like this one.

    :)

  • I remain a heretic on this matter, at least as far as my parents are concerned, and to an extent myself. I very much hope my parents don't declutter every last thing they don't believe to be essential. I may have a very different perspective, and in any case, it may not be practically essential, but an object they would choose to throw away if they removed it from their loft might explain them to me in a way that nothing and no one else can. I believe we have the right to understand who and where we came from, even if that information can only be transmitted after death.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    daisydaisy wrote: »
    ... I have lost count of the number of [sewing machines] that need to be fetched from attics/lofts/roofspaces. It's hard enough getting them down, but however did they get put up there?
    I was thinking much the same about Mrs. S's microwave.

  • Thomasina, Boogie is right, get help with the shredding - try an internet search for 'confidential waste' if you want to compare services.

    I am a little ahead of you (my husband died five months ago) and I have got down to the last half dozen of about 60 boxes, so I speak with feeling. We can also take card and paper (not confidential stuff, obviously) to the local waste/recycling site. I cannot cope with carting all that about, but I have a lovely son-in-law and a kind neighbour who both offered and even seem to enjoy it!

    Pace yourself, though and be kind to yourself.
  • ThomasinaThomasina Shipmate
    Thanks very much, Boogie and Landlubber. I had no idea such companies existed! I have a lovely grandson who hefts and takes things away and the local charity shops are now bursting at the seams! But there is still all the paper............
  • unless you have a loft it can all go into?
    No loft, Boogie, but we do have storage in the eaves. Son has filled the eaves on one side, and the other side has Christmas decorations and lots of other stuff.

    I don't want to get rid of his stuff. I think mostly I'm sad that when he comes home, he doesn't have a nice room to stay in. Both rooms are the same size, but my daughter has always had the "nicer" room, because she kept hers tidy. The gulf between the condition of the rooms widened last year when we repainted and recarpeted hers. Then it widened more when we bought a new bed / mattresses / duvet / bedding etc for her room. We're planning to go shopping for new bedside lamps for her when she's next home. We painted hers when we moved in, then a few years later freshened up with another coat of the same paint, then last year she chose a new colour scheme.

    Meanwhile his room hasn't been thoroughly hoovered in years, his bed is old, his mattress is old, the carpet is the one that was there when we moved in, the wallpaper is the stuff that was there when we moved in...

    A stranger visiting our house would assume some sort of Cinderella situation going on. I think I'm sad that that's him all grown up and the last time I decorated for him, it was in our old flat and it was Thomas the Tank Engine themed.
  • Thomasina....you have my sympathies. I guess a-bit-by-bit is the only way for now.....
  • Major decluttering success this afternoon - a friend visited and has gone away with a wardrobe of clothes that are now too big for me but which are just right for her own weight loss. We have always (we've been friends for over 40 yrs!) had a very similar style, so I know they've gone to a good home. It'll be weird seeing her in my favourite dresses though.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    daisydaisy wrote: »
    Major decluttering success this afternoon - a friend visited and has gone away with a wardrobe of clothes that are now too big for me but which are just right for her own weight loss. We have always (we've been friends for over 40 yrs!) had a very similar style, so I know they've gone to a good home. It'll be weird seeing her in my favourite dresses though.

    Hurrah!

    I have done the porch. Yes, I did it a couple of months ago but it’s a clutter magnet!



  • I threw out some books today, : ( they were old friends but now needed to go. It was very hard to do, but library, does not take religious reading material for their used book sales and Sr. Center only takes soft cover reading material. I made it easier by moving art supplies on the now empty shelf, thus opening up closet space to store winter blankets. Still, sigh.
  • I have now completely emptied a wardrobe - yay! Which means that, when my broken leg is mended and I'm up to wielding a saw and a drill, I can add some shelves to properly store things on, rather than just shoved somewhere in the hope I might find them another time, not sure exactly what will go there, but they'll be filled soon enough.
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