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Message Board > Miscellaneous > Decluttering - ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Decluttering -
other than the sewing room or clothes closet
justgail

justgail
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Date: 7/27/13 12:11 PM

KathySews started a thread on downsizing and decluttering the sewing room HERE, and I started wandering off the subject into other areas of the house I need to work on.

And loti started one on the clothes closet HERE

So instead of piling more onto those threads, I thought I'd start a thread for reporting our successes with other areas. Or requests for ideas on how to deal with problems.

My non-sewing room areas that are in need of attention are:
- cookbooks (how did a search for a good vegetarian cookbook lead to so many purchases?!)
- find my toolboxes and hardware in the basement and organize them so I don't need to be rooting through boxes to find what I need. Right now they are hidden behind DH's piles or in places I can't open them
- organize the needlework threads and supplies
- clean out the craft supplies like glue and paint (they can go bad from age) and put them in order
- do something with old towels (now used for pet beds, drying cars, and soaking up spills that may stain) in the laundry room
- office corner and desk needs old cables and manuals cleared out, and paper work filed/scanned or otherwise taken care of.
- back to the kitchen, cabinets need gone through for old food, and tools and gadgets we don't use.
- garden tools and supplies - why do I keep tools we don't use (too small/dull/don't work etc.) or icky gross containers of fertilizer and sprays that haven't been used in years? And huge bags of grass seed.
- hall closet needs blankets and pillows re-folded and the other boxes gone through. I wonder what's in a couple of them anyway - some haven't been opened since we moved.

My biggest issues are overcoming "it could be useful someday" and facing the fact that I'll never get to some of those projects I have supplies for (if they're any good by now anyway).

Yeeks! - I think I've listed enough for now. If I list any more, I'll need a nap while I think about where to start
-- Edited on 7/27/13 12:13 PM --

AdaH
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AdaH  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/27/13 1:29 PM

I spent the last 4 years decluttering my house.
First I never tackled large areas. I started with my linen closet. It was very bad. Then I did my dresser. Another time I did my closet. The area was always something that could be done in less than half a day and usually only an hour or so was needed.
It might be a drawer in the kitchen, the bathroom vanity or under the kitchen sink.

After living in this house for over 30 years I had a lot of "stuff". Mostly things that I still really liked but no longer had a use for. I will never wear these high heels again, I no longer need 8 bath towels or 5 sets of twin bed sheets and all these odd little mementos from vacations that are stuck away in a drawer that we never look at. Some thing, like the dresser scarfs my mom embroidered I wanted to save but only if I could make them useful so I figured out a way to use them (cut them down and used them as a valance in my sewing room). Why did I have 5 shot glasses in my kitchen cupboard?

For me the process was always the same. The first few minutes of the project I would spend a minute or so thinking about keeping something but after about 5 minutes of doing this I was down to seconds in deciding if something was going to be saved, given away or pitched. I found myself pitching a lot more than saving or putting it in the find another home for pile.

My sewing room was anther story. The wallpaper was starting to come undone so we started stripping it. Then painted the room so all my sewing stuff had to move to another room. In the process of putting it back I had to go thru everything. I ended up getting rid of a ton of stuff. I love my new space and find it so much easier to find things. A place for everything and everything (more or less) in its place.

------
Ada

simplystitches
simplystitches
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Date: 7/27/13 1:49 PM

About 5 years ago we did a massive decluttering. It was amazing the amount of "stuff" that came out of such a small house!

One thing that slows many people down is they look at the entire picture of what needs to be done and get overwhelmed and don't do anything! That would be my husband. The easier less overwhelming way is to break it down into smaller tasks.
Whether you set a time limit to work or just tackle one thing/area at a time something, and eventually everything, gets done.

One of the ways that I got rid of so much was every time I opened a drawer, cabinet or closet I purposely looked for something that I could get rid of by donating or throwing it away. I started with the one thing a day but was finding I was pulling much more each day. If I was unsure of something I had a box that it went into and if I didn't need it within a few months (obviously not holiday decorations) it was gone.

Debbie

Michelle T

Michelle T
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Date: 7/27/13 2:06 PM

AdaH,

I liked reading your post. I live in a very cluttered house and work 6 days a week. The thought of tackling a whole room on my one day off is overwhelming.

But your method of doing one small task as a time sounds like a good idea. And if it takes me 4 years too that is okay.

Also in 4 years the kids will be finished school and perhaps on their own.

------
Proud parent of a Dwight International School Honour Roll Student

Franksdottir

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Date: 7/27/13 2:09 PM

I took out a book from the library on decluttering, and it got lost in the clutter and ended up overdue. Seriously.

------
Barb

tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/27/13 3:30 PM

Use caution while decluttering. A young friend reported the other day that his girlfriend was helping him declutter. As an avid collector of all kinds of things, he is not familiar with the exercise and although the GF warned him about going overboard and tossing things he really might need, he had already thrown out the power supply to his laptop! No word on whether or not it was recoverable.

I am working on throwing out (or putting into the thrift shop bag) one or two things a day. Baby steps.

------
http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

Speech girl
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Speech girl  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/27/13 3:34 PM

I have 2 main decluttering areas. The first is the office, which we are about to paint and and do some simple remodeling. Will add shelving. We have neither basement or garage so the office is also where we store tools and some other basement items.
I am sure I can get rid of about 1/3 or more of the items there, but it will be a big job...

The second is all my work related stuff. I left my job and am starting my own practice, I'll make house calls and won't have a proper office so all my pediatric speech therapy materials that I used to keep at work are are now in tubs in the attic. It's difficult to find what I need quickly. I have cleared out my bedroom and now have a bookshelf and empty dresser that I will put the things I will need to access regularly. I do need to make an inventory of the rest. I suppose I can do this during work hours until I have a full caseload :).

Luckily, I declutteried my kitchen and sewing stuff to a manageable amount last winter, when kitchen was remodeled and I gave up my sewing room.

This book looks interesting. I am going to see if my library has it.

The simple minimalist approach won't work for my work stuff, unfortunately.
-- Edited on 7/27/13 3:36 PM --

------
Kim
formerly mikkim
http://girlwithatimemachine.wordpress.com/

AdaH
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AdaH  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/27/13 3:38 PM

Michelle T, one evening I decluttered the silverware drawer while waiting for my hamburger to brown. Very small steps.

------
Ada

KensingtonCrab
KensingtonCrab
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In reply to justgail <<
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Date: 7/27/13 3:58 PM

I am just sure I posted in both of those threads because they are so inspiring. I find I have more mental energy than physical energy--if that makes sense. I do take baby steps and try tackling a drawer at a time or a closet at a time. I am still stuck going through the clothes in my closet--so many pretty things I no longer wear but hard to part with and also with my fabric stash. I know it would feel soooo good to declutter but there's a little mental block with these 2 areas. I would like to know the psychology behind this.

------
Carpe diem!

sewbehind
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sewbehind
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Date: 7/27/13 4:20 PM

Years ago and still to this day, I use the Flylady method or sort of method. I just did her "X" number of things per day. Some people don't like all the other stuff that Marla Cilley says, but I did find her small steps useful as I suffered from very ill health at the time.
To this day, I have a box for donating stuff and regularly go through things. I think my sewing room is long overdue and it is probably beyond the 27 things per day. It would be a place to start though.
It's a struggle if you like to collect things and our whole society is so consumer based.
Good luck, all.
Helen

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