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Decluttering my home.

Last post Sun, Aug 23 2009 10:16 PM by MarthaMFI. 54 replies.
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  • Thu, Nov 20 2008 2:41 PM

    Decluttering my home.

    I was reading what some have said about decluttering and it gave me such a cumfort. I am dizzy trying to figure out how to part with things, and I know that mine is an emotional thing. As a child , and a teen my mom gave my things away, made me so frustrated , now as an adult it makes me upset when my husband sujest I get rid of whatever. I do not want to be attach. So if any one has any sujestions please help me. Thank you!! Iris

    By the way hi, you all are an inspiration to me, and this is my first time posting. thanks again. Iris

  • Thu, Nov 20 2008 2:53 PM In reply to

    Re: Decluttering my home.

    Hi, Iris. Welcome to the Forum!

    I have major problems with clutter also. My husband and I are both packrats, and to make matters worse, he grew up in such a way that he hates to get rid of anything, even if it's completely broken or useless to us. We're both pretty bad about getting rid of what we aren't using.

    I find helpful what the FlyLady website has to say about decluttering. Here is a link to that page. She offers some very specific directions on how to go about decluttering.   http://www.flylady.net/pages/FLYingLessons_Declutter.asp 

    What I think is most helpful about that site are the following questions to ask yourself as you consider getting rid of an item.

  • Do I love this item?
  • Have I used it in the past year?
  • Do I have another one that is better?
  • Should I really keep two?
  • Does it have sentimental value that causes me to love it?
  • Or does it give me guilt and make me sad when I see the item?
  • I hope that helps! I've been on the FlyLady website a lot and she sometimes uses cute phrases to describe what she's talking about. If something she says is confusing, let me know and I'll be glad to "de-code" for you. Big Smile

    ~~~~

    Take care of the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves.
    ~ Lewis Carroll

  • Thu, Nov 20 2008 3:05 PM In reply to

    Re: Decluttering my home.

    Welcome, Iris!

    I have the reverse problem of yours--my parents are both pack rats to a debilitating degree, and I am not. So although I don't know all the wisdom you'll need to deal with your decluttering quest, may I share my experience from a 'reverse' point of view?

    First, remember--these are just 'things'. Your memories of the good times associated with the things will not be gone simply because you throw them away,sell them, or give them to other good homes. You'll always have the memories.

    Second, think about how you'll need extra space to store the 'things'. You'll either need more rooms in your house, which means a bigger, more expensive house, or you'll have to buy off-site storage. If your budget has to grow to accommodate your 'things', then you're not owning your things--your things are owning you!

    Third, and I don't want to sound macabre or depressing, but this has been on my mind since I foresee myself having to deal with this someday--eventually, you are going to pass away. Do you want your grieving loved ones burdened with sorting through all your stuff? My two sisters and I will in all likelihood have to rent a construction dumpster to deal with my parents' belongings after they have died. It's a burden I'm sure you don't want to leave your family. Deal with the stuff and sort through it while you can. Your family will appreciate it later.

    Finally, take baby steps! Give one or two small things away, either to friends or charity. When you get past that landmark, try another few things. Then more. Eventually, it will get easier. You'll feel like you're more in control of your space and time, and the organization can be just as addictive as the 'things'!

    Good luck to you, and let us know how your quest to declutter progresses!

    Stacie

    http://holdinghandswithmyhoney.blogspot.com/
  • Thu, Nov 20 2008 3:21 PM In reply to

    Re: Decluttering my home.

    Iris, I second Joyous' suggestion to try Flylady. Her site really helps me out a lot. I would suggest creating a yahoo email account only for flymail if you should join. I don't stick to it all the time, but the house is so much more orderly when I do stick to it!

    BTW, welcome to the group here! You'll love it! Smile

  • Thu, Nov 20 2008 9:33 PM In reply to

    Re: Decluttering my home.

    Since this topic reminds me of my storeage shed I rent packed and stuff frull now I have to declutter in spring,,,

    Gee wiz just I thought of getting away of that now its a reminder...;)

    cindy

  • Mon, Nov 24 2008 9:58 AM In reply to

    Re: Decluttering my home.

    Welcome Iris!

    We are emotional savers, too, especially my in-laws. My mother in law keeps everything and cried over donating/throwing away anything. Her answer is to offer things to her family and friends (keeps it closer to her heart she says). That does only go so far...

    What DH and I have to do is look at something, remember what I used it for, remember why I packed it away and then picture someone else (a stranger) finding this item at a thrift store or Goodwill and LOVING it and running to buy my item. It makes me feel better to think that someone else will love something that I don't have use for anymore. It's not that I don't love the item, I just don't have use for it and it is waiting for someone else to use it.

    My mom on the other hand, gave away my highschool letterman's jacket. I was a little sad but she gave it to the highschool to give to someone who couldn't afford to buy one. She saved all my sports letters and pins so I have those. When I told her I was a little upset, she reminded me that I didn't want to even take it with me to my new house so I must not love it as much as I thought.

    We are attached to things. But those "things" keep us living in the past and not living in the present unless the item is useful today.

    Erika
  • Mon, Nov 24 2008 5:02 PM In reply to

    Re: Decluttering my home.

    Welcome, Iris!  I used to ask my Mom to keep things (furniture pieces we got, used, and she tired of) for when I grew up and had my own place.  She would tell me my tastes would change, and give it away.  In high school, we had a decorating project of furnishing a house -- using newspaper ads, paint chips, fabric swatches for drapes, etc.  It really made me look at things I wanted in my life, and the Queen Anne sofa and chairs that I chose then were my first purchases and still with me to this day.

    However, many other things have come my way because I like to go to flea markets, thrift stores, antiques malls, etc.  Some things become not as well loved or used as frequently as when we first got them.

    Just this past week I read on my Freecycle list about a family that basically was starting over, and needed everything all over again.  I don't know whether fire or other calamity befell them, but I decided that my house and garage could go on a diet and lose several items, which would enjoy new life with this family.  An added benefit was I would regain space that could be put to far better use.  (Okay, so maybe I have watched "The Brave Little Toaster" one too many times!)

    Items that are much loved are also much used.  Try looking at items and asking yourself how long it has been since you used it?  You could pack some things away, and if you haven't used them in a few months, consider donating them at that time.

    Family things passed down are not necessarily in this category.  Once something goes from the family, it doesn't usually come back, and even an identical item purchased is not the original family item.  Based on my experience, I advise asking your children if they would want something, then letting them store it in their space.

    No babies or grandbabies?  Stuffed animals can be donated to a women's shelter or a humane society.  Dog

    The 1960's green or gold Corelle could probably find a new life with a college student starting out.  They will eat Pizza from it and use it in the microwave. 

    If you don't buy extras, there won't be extras to deal with!  Smile  Now that is frugal!  Big Smile

     

     

    Lynnea the Dogmom
  • Tue, Nov 25 2008 7:07 PM In reply to

    Re: Decluttering my home.

    I am trying to decide if we should donate a few more toys before the holidays, but realize there is not much coming into the house this year.  There are some big things we were handed down, the little store thing, the stable, that I am tired of, but the kids still use a lot.  I have handed down some baby toys, maybe that is enough for now.   

    Tracy
    Beginning Debt Slayer


  • Tue, Nov 25 2008 8:21 PM In reply to

    • kb999999
    • Top 100 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 26 2008
    • Arizona
    • Posts 950

    Re: Decluttering my home.

     Hi ... I am the 'memory-hoarder' in my family and have worked for four years to get storage-pile down to 10 rubbermade plastic storage boxes with lids. No ... it was not easy, the journey was  not always filled with joy, but it was time - mentally and emotionally - for these things to move on.  Set a goal of just one box week - I will still need to go through my remaining boxes and maybe this time, I'll be left with only 5.

    This also works with all the 'other' places in our homes, too ... pick a day and clean your pantry, hall closet next, ect ... you can even just limit it to one shelf at a time. Good Luck to you and yes ... you can do it !!! 

  • Tue, Nov 25 2008 8:44 PM In reply to

    Re: Decluttering my home.

    kb999999, you have a great suggestion here. I like the idea of tackling one box at a time.

    I do pretty much the same thing in my closets when I clean them. One shelf at a time. Set my timer..If I finish by the time the timer goes off, great. If I don't, oh well! If I have time left over I might move on to the next shelf, sometimes finishing it also after my timer goes off, or stopping when I hear the "beep". Other times, I'll stop with one shelf only, even if I have time left over. All according to the mood I'm in at the time! Wink

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