The Meeting Place

I need to declutter, but how?

I’ve been living in the same home for 20 years. It’s a smallish home but on a rambling block with a massive garage … that I’m embarrassed to say is too full to fit a vehicle.

When you have space to keep things, most people do. Well I do. But with three of my four children gone, I’m feeling as if it’s time to start shedding all those bits and pieces – to make life easier for when you have to downsize.

I’ve sold or given away a number of bigger items, like the cast iron bed that hadn’t been used for 10 years, but I’m finding it difficult to dig deeper. And my hoarding husband is not helping.

Do you have any tips on how to declutter? How did you go about the task?




Why do women have this problem

Hire a skip and chuck everything out 

Give Janelle a fair go Raph ... she did say, "And my hoarding husband is not helping."

Agree re skip.


you can't blame a man for all your inadequacies

this is 2018

chuck the husband into the skip as well

Call in an expert .  There are professional organisers who will come in and give you a quote.   They will help you decide what to donate, what to throw away, and what to keep.   

Love decluttering.

Got a skip, invited immediate family round. Said you want it ?? Answer No ... out it went via bodies more able than mine.

Bliss ... years and years of junk gone. No regrets ... can't even remember what most of it was.

Can now enjoy just one very small 'contained' display of family memorabilia/keepsakes.

As for all that that stuff that may 'come in handy one day' ... again wiped from the memory banks ... whatever it was.

When it was time to move out of my home of 45 years, I put all the items I didn't want out on the nature strip and put a sign up saying "Freebies", most of the items were gone within 2 hours. 

I know how you feel, clutter can build up for many reasons, not just from hoarding, I am trying to get rid of paperwork as well as knicknacks collected over the years, when you are a long term Carer for a family member you get bombard with paperwork from "caring" council and goverment departments that have that much info you are too scared to chuck it out but no where to store it properly, is endless....trying to declutter while you are looking after someone and making household "adjustments" for their health and well being is very hard to do ....changing from a "normal" household to a home that a Carer and a Chronic ill person can live comfortably in is not an easy task. So to those who tell people just to get a skip and get rid of everything, think twice before you post.  There are many many different reasons why people need to de-clutter or re-organise their lives and it might not be any fault of their own.

Janelle, I can empathise with you and your challenge. Firstly whatever you do, and I know you dont need to be told this, but do not under any circumstances let your hubby build another shed.

Get comitment to turf the stuff which hasnt been used in the last 12 months, like you did with the bed.

Hold regular garage sales and reduce your expectations of the value of each item.

Set goals with time frames for completion of each step.

Make it happen, talk it up!!

Do it!!

I was in a job where it was necessary to move towns on an irregular basis. I found that the best advice I got about clutter in a shed was to start at the door, pick up the nearest item and ask the question; "Did I use this in the last 12 months?". If the answer is no, chuck it out. Works for me.

Start with a single shelf or cupboard. Don't spend more than say 30 minutes at a time. This makes it more a more doable proposition than the thought of tackling a whole room or a whole house.

Also ask the rest of your family if there is anything they want. Have them round for a 'treasure hunt' one Sunday. You cook lunch, they take what they want. The only condition is that they take it there and then (and certainly no more than a week later). If it is not gone by then; chuck it!

Good idea KSS re the 'treasure hunt' ... as I said above, did similar, but got the family to chuck unwanted items out ... they were far younger and had far more muscle power and energy than me to dispose of so much, so heavy, so quickly.

My only advice would be get help if it's all too tricky/difficult, either family or professionals as others have suggested,

Just build yourself another garage for your car and do not let hubby in there.

If you have too much paperwork - scan everything (don't forget to give the files meaningful names) then re-cycle everything that you have scanned - works for me!

Sounds like a good idea ... but I would be concerned with the info being lost either on the internet, PC or storage holder.

Always keep at least 2 copies of the files - eg on 2 different computers, or on external storage such as a hard drive, or USB memory stick. If possible, keep 1 copy off-site, so that you can retrieve the files even after a fire (or flood).

Or pay $4 pm and leave all your stuff on the cloud?

Start small, grab 10 things a day, make a decision whether it is for keeps, donation or rubbish, you will need 3 boxes, if you need to have another box for 'can't deal with right now' but make sure it never gets over filled and check one item off each day from it. Eventually you will get there , just making a start is the hardest. Set aside a time of the day when you feel up to it, rainy days are great for sorting.

i am in the same position,   i just have 'STUFF'    and cant bear to through it out,   a lot of it is good stuff,   like my glass animals,   and my bear collection,  and the frogs,      have already given a lot of clothes away,     but the rest,    i like,      i probably will not get around to wearing half of them,    but i like them,   my daughers just shake there heads,     hubby doesnt  care,      so its me and my stuff filling up the house,  


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