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greenishmama
02-15-2009, 05:40 PM
I know I could probably find some inspiration if I read through some of the topics here but I'm too tired and haven't time. My house has clutter everywhere and I can't take it anymore. Having trouble getting it organized and put away with 3 yr old and 9 month old taggin along... BUT, my real problem is there is just too much stuff. I have a hard time throwing out/giving away stuff. I hang onto things because I might want them when I'm in a crafty mood to make something with or because I might fit into it again (and it will save $ if I don't have to buy something new), etc. It's two main problems- 1. I like to save $ and hate spending $ on new things. I feel that since I'm not working I should be frugal so I hang onto things so I won't have to go out and buy something if I need it in the future. 2. I hang onto some things because I might want them to do some craft project with or something. (I'm a person who if I get an idea to do something creative I want to do it NOW!)

please inspire me to get rid of stuff....

oscaroscarmommy
02-15-2009, 08:33 PM
I used to struggle with this too. But I am making an effort to live more simply and that means that sometimes we have to do without some things. Maybe it makes life harder to live without these things but sometimes it's worth the freedom you gain by getting rid of them. For example...our TV broke and was not fixable. We still had the TV stand sitting in our living room and just used it to pile junk on. I could have kept the TV stand for when we got a new TV but instead I decided that when we can afford another TV we can just as easily pick up a used stand at a reasonable price.

Another example. For the longest time I was holding onto a crockpot/roaster that we were storing for my sister-in-law. Well she moved far away and decided I could keep it. I've used it a few times...but I could've made the same meal in a roaster in my oven. It was a really nice crockpot but it took up space and I rarely used it. So I gave it away.

Have designated storage areas.... If it dosn't fit in the designated storage space, get rid of it.

Some stuff is fun to have but also a waste of space...like an electric can opener. Unless you're suffering from arthritis...does anyone really need a machine to open a can a soup?

How about pretend that you're moving. Decide how much you would want to spend on boxes/moving truck and try to eliminate the way you would if you were moving. What would you absolutely have to take with you?

KatieMae
02-16-2009, 12:00 PM
Yes, the path to an organized home is 1. Declutter 2. Clean 3. Declutter more 4. Organize. If you try to organize everything you have, it'll never work b/c you have too much stuff to start with!

I understand your frugal attitude towards wanting to keep things, but you have to set some limits b/c at some point, the emotional cost of living with too much stuff for just-in-case is far costlier than buying some new supplies once in a while.

My personal guidelines:
* If I haven't used it in a year, it needs to leave the house (I donate everything & keep good records for tax purposes)
* If I've used it within a year, but not frequently, it needs to be in an out-of-the way place. And then if I don't need it badly enough to go get it out of that place, it can go in a year!
* I also keep craft supplies like you talked about... I have a stack of plastic drawers from WalMart, neatly labeled to limit how much of any "kind" of supplies I have. [1 drawer for "notions", 1 for "scrapbooking", 1 for "crafts", 2 for "patterns & projects" and 1 for bits of fabric] Also, in our basement, I have one medium-sized Rubbermaid tub called the "Junk box" which holds random things for kids' crafts (egg cartons, bent hangers, shoe boxes, paper towel & toilet paper rolls, etc) and a small pile of bigger things - like cardboard pieces (the bolts that held fabric at the store) and wrapping paper tubes. The key is ***LIMITED SPACE***

Some helpful links, if you have time:
http://www.simplify101.com Aby Garvey has lots of tips & methods & I *highly* recommend her online workshops :yes
http://www.messies.com Sandra Felton, author of many, many books that several of us have read & gained lots of inspiration from her analysis & encouragements
:poke :poke Join our Decluttering challenge!!! http://www.gentlechristianmothers.com/mb/index.php?topic=211037.0

Maggie
02-16-2009, 12:07 PM
I have the same problem, greenishmama. (Love your username!) I'll be :popcorn

klpmommy
02-17-2009, 09:23 AM
Here is the thing, if you keep it, will you be able to *find* it when you need it & get to it easily or will you be trying to remember where you stuck it & having to dig it out? For us keeping things doesn't help at all b/c we have too much stuff & can't find a thing when we need it or it is *so* buried that it is easier to just buy a new one. Which is why we have so much fishing stuff now--- too much work to find it in the garage, just buy more, bury it in the garage, etc, etc, etc. Hopefully that will change this summer when I can get back out in the garage & CLEAN it out.

Also, keeping things b/c you might use them someday-- will they still be useful in several years, or will they be out of date, out of style, rotten? Will you even still like that same thing in a few years? How easy is it to replace? For example, holding onto paper towel tubes-- yes, you might use them someday, but if you get rid of them now when you need them you can easily solicit more from friends. I used to keep egg cartons b/c they are so useful for so many things, but I go through a ton of eggs, I really don't need to save every one for a future project. I had two bins full of cloth that I *might* use someday. But when it came down to it, I didn't want to use that cloth, it wasn't "me" anymore. So I got rid of most of it. Happily so. :)

Getting rid of stuff means you have more space & time to enjoy the things that you really enjoy. :yes

You can't organize clutter. You can't clean it either. It just takes up space & makes stress.

greenishmama
02-17-2009, 11:10 AM
thank you for your advice! I have read some of the very same advice before. But it helps when hearing it from some other moms (not just the author of a book).

I really like the idea of deciding how much space you want to devote to storing certain things- like craft supplies such as fabric scraps, cardboard, misc. stuff. That would help me limit how much I keep and if I use two large totes in the basement then I will also know where the stuff is!

I have been saving some candle making supplies since I was in college... about 15 years ago probably. Isnt' that crazy? But now that I have children I say "wouldn't that be a fun thing to do...."? ahhhh!

Part of the problem if I may lay blame is this is how my mother is. She taught me all those years to save, save, save! (they didn't have much $ when she was growing up....). Now, even though I tell her I'm trying to declutter, don't want stuff I don't need, and other routes to try to share with her my new ways of wanting less stuff and encouraging her to throw out, she'll still have piles of stuff/boxed for me to "go through" when I come visit. Sometimes its stuff from my childhood (which yay for her- she wants to get rid of it herself) but sometimes it's a pile of random stuff she thinks I might want like a proactive (skin care) add. (she has tried to pass on the proactive thing many times.... which tells me she thinks my skin is horrible!)

ok- sorry to ramble. just an example of why I think I have this problem and how it keeps attacking me!!!

BUT, I know it is up to me to just dive in and get rid of stuff. I know that is we had to move I would not move all this stuff. I know that I would pack some of it up though. but at the new place I'd probably never open it.... but it is so hard to get rid of!! It really is bogging us down and starting to strain our marriage a tiny bit too.

good news is I packed up some clothes to donate today!

KatieMae
02-17-2009, 11:17 AM
Part of the problem if I may lay blame is this is how my mother is. She taught me all those years to save, save, save! (they didn't have much $ when she was growing up....). Now, even though I tell her I'm trying to declutter, don't want stuff I don't need, and other routes to try to share with her my new ways of wanting less stuff and encouraging her to throw out, she'll still have piles of stuff/boxed for me to "go through" when I come visit. Sometimes its stuff from my childhood (which yay for her- she wants to get rid of it herself) but sometimes it's a pile of random stuff she thinks I might want like a proactive (skin care) add. (she has tried to pass on the proactive thing many times.... which tells me she thinks my skin is horrible!)


Is your mom my neighbor? She does this to her three grown, out-of-state kids all the time & I just feel *so* bad for them. She actually shipped like four boxes of JUNK to her son (Atlanta to Seattle) b/c he wouldn't take it home with him last time they visited... get the hint! Throw it away!!!

My mom used to have that same mentality though, she's over it now :ptl I still don't tell her what I'm decluttering though. If she gave it to me, then it's mine to dispose or keep as I choose. Lesson learned when I said I didn't want this set of gold-plated flatware (my Gma bought it for my older sister, who died 17 years ago, so I was next in line) but now that my Gma has passed too, my mom wants the set back when I said I was going to donate it. :sigh Meanwhile it still lives at my house :mad

crunchymum
02-17-2009, 09:20 PM
well, i wrote a big old post and lost it. :/ argh.

i've been steadily working through our home the past couple years... i have the great fortune to have a professional organizer as a best friend, and the great UNfortune of her living very far away, so it's taking me a long time. but we did a lot of work long distance and when she came here. letting go of things i thought i might use one day just opened up so much space and it gets addicting to get rid of stuff after awhile... :yes

for inspiration, here are some threads i've posted with pictures as i've slowly organized the rooms in our house. it's a continual process, but so worth it! :) some of these are old, so some things have changed, but mostly it's accurate. :)

http://www.gentlechristianmothers.com/mb/index.php?topic=113602.0
http://www.gentlechristianmothers.com/mb/index.php?topic=114339.0
http://www.gentlechristianmothers.com/mb/index.php?topic=177575.0
http://www.gentlechristianmothers.com/mb/index.php?topic=165209.0
http://www.gentlechristianmothers.com/mb/index.php?topic=177569.0
http://www.gentlechristianmothers.com/mb/index.php?topic=177578.0

hth!