Home > Clutter is bringing me down.

Clutter is bringing me down.

April 11th, 2011 at 03:18 am

I was hoping moving to a new house meant we could turn over a new leaf. I was hoping we could be organized, live clutter free, and be able to keep it cleaner. I'm wondering if it's even possible.

Hubby has realized we have significantly less ready-to-go built in storage than we have in our current house. We have plenty of space to build storage, it just isn't there yet, which at least in the short term, means more chaos. The bins of seasonal items and holiday decor we have moved over have nowhere to live, as of yet, and are starting to pile up. Hubby and I are both kind of down about it. We have moved so much, but we still have so much more to move!

The moving process has really shed a lot of light on the fact that we just simply own too much stuff. Too much. I have no idea how it happened. I feel like I am constantly donating, freecycling, selling or giving things away. But it just isn't enough. We still just own too much stuff.

And considering we are terrible organizers and terrible housekeepers, we'd probably be better off if we owned less. Much much much much much less. Sometimes, I feel so overwhelmed that I just want to throw everything away. Some days, I put every toy I step on into the recycling bin. It's so frustrating.

I am hoping to turn over a new leaf of organization with the new house, but I am wondering if that is just wishful thinking. Really, all I want is a simple, clean, functional house where everything has a place to live. No clutter. No junk drawers.

It's already an uphill mountain. I went out of town for a couple of days and my MIL decided to pack for me. (I was planning to sort as I packed.) So, I know that two boxes of things I had designated for the thrift store are now somewhere at the new house. I know it's an innocent mistake, but it felt like a big blow. Our lives are so busy, I don't want to have to count on sorting later. With two toddlers, there is no such thing as free time!

It just feels impossible, short of throwing everything away. But that doesn't seem like a real solution. I don't feel like I am a big buyer of stuff, but I must be. I'm the one who brings most things home because I do most of the shopping. Clearly, I must be more mindful of what I'm bringing home.

But what is the solution for the mountains of stuff we already own????

13 Responses to “Clutter is bringing me down.”

  1. My English Castle Says:

    I'm with you! I'm constantly getting rid of things, but we still have so much. half of our bookshelves are doubleshelved, and I need to go on yet another concentrated purge. Kids are clutter magnets too--and as they outgrow their clothes, man oh man.

    Good luck! I'll cheer you on.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    My suggestion, once you have things moved to the new house, is to set a timer for 15 minutes a day to focus on one part of your house. And do that everyday, until it all comes together. You might find that you have more than 15 minutes some days and that is great! But always do 15 minutes.

    It is a good idea to be aware of what you are bringing in, too. Good of you to notice that could be the problem.

    I'll cheer you on, too!!

  3. ThriftoRama Says:

    Well, I will say that part of our problem is that we don't fully utilize the storage space we have. I have cabinets that are mostly empty and yet countertops that are overflowing.

    And, a lot of stuff ends up on the counter, or on higher up surfaces because we have had to move it out of kid's reach because we don't want them to have it. There is only so much you can put on top of the fridge to keep the kids from getting it. And, now that the kids have figured out how to get around the drawer locks, it's become a real problem.

  4. baselle Says:

    Sounds like you and your DH have a visual organization system (see it, be reminded of it) and you're worried about out of sight, out of mind - things high on the counters where you can see them and not in storage where you can't. I have issues like that too, but I'm getting better about filing in a file cabinet that I can see. I have been known to put things in a box, date the box. If I haven't touched the box in 2 yrs - I toss or give it away. I don't even open the box.

    Also, its an issue for both you and your husband - if you try not to being stuff in but he does ... stuff gets in.

  5. ThriftoRama Says:

    Hubby rarely buys anything. I don't know if I have anxiety about not seeing things, it's just the kids can get into the drawers now, so anything dangerous has to be moved out, and there are only so many places they can do. They are 1 and 3. It's frustrating.

  6. ceejay74 Says:

    It's certainly an interesting idea, throwing everything out and starting over. Would hubby be into it? Maybe you could make a list of things you absolutely need--basic dishes, basic clothes, basic toiletries and first aid--and each keep say 50 favorite things (books, CDs, movies, toys). Then put everything else out to charity or have a yard sale (everything $1 or "make me an offer" if you don't want to spend hours pricing everything. It would be daring, don't know if I could do it--we have certain things we'd have trouble parting with, like my and AS's books and NT's records. But the clean feeling afterward might be worth it.

    The other, less drastic option I thought of is you could have a rule that for every item you bring into the house, two must go. Consumables you know you'll use in the next week, such as fruit, don't count, but nonperishables that will be around indefinitely do count. Count the items you bring in and make sure you put twice as many in a charity box or the recycling bin or trash.

  7. MonkeyMama Says:

    I think it is good to remember clutter doesn't happen in a day. Thus, it won't be solved in a day.

    I agree with Ceejay - going forward institute a rule that for every one item that comes into your house, 2 have to leave. I think ccfree's comments are good too - 15 minutes a day.

    I don't really identify with your issues with the kids. Put more dangerous things in higher cabinets. Less dangerous things in lower cabinets. It doesn't have to be very high (top of fridge) to be out of their reach. I may have several cabinets designated for things the kids shouldn't get a hold of. Just something to keep in mind as you find new homes for everything in your new house. Also, none of this will matter in a couple of years' time. I can't remember the last time I gave a thought to babyproofing anything. We keep chemicals hidden away, but that is about it any more.

    I personally started a major de-clutter of my house when I had my first baby (that nesting hit me hard). I'd say I wasn't really "finished" until 2010. & even then, things are not "perfect." But every year since 2003 I have felt lighter and freer as I purged. Don't get caught up in the perfection, and know that it will take time.

  8. ThriftoRama Says:

    I think I am willing to invest the time. A few months back, I began taking a more active interest in decluttering and organizing. I have a small box in the hallway at all times, designated for goodwill. I walk by and put stuff in it all the time, and when it's full, off it goes. I sold most of my clothes to consignment, I regularly donate and give away the toys and clothes the kids either outgrew or don't play with anymore.

    It's just starting over from scratch.. in a house with less storage. I know it's going to be dicey for a while, and I know that in my immediate future I won't have any extra time and energy to spare.

    Although, my first thought is to sort as I unpack as well, And give everything the once over before it goes into a cabinet.

  9. MonkeyMama Says:

    I just had a thought. Can't remember the name of the show but maybe someone else will. Makeover/Organization show. They always put everything (think one or two rooms at a time) outside and quickly throw everything into 3 piles - trash, donate, sell. The point is to do it quickly without over-thinking. Of course, than the little TV elves makeover and organize the home while selling, trashing and donating everything. So, is a lot of work. But maybe you can think in those terms as you unpack. Maybe you are going to have a large sell or donate pile for a while, but might be worth it in the long run. Maybe just sort it out and figure what to do with it later.

  10. ThriftoRama Says:

    Good idea, MM.

  11. creditcardfree Says:

    I think sorting as you unpack is a great idea. And if you don't have a particular shelf to put items on, consider large tubs, see through if it works for you. I have bins that I can't see into with a label on the outside...which can also list was goes in the bin specifically rather generically if you so choose. And then know, it is still temporary until you know how you want to live in this new home.

  12. My English Castle Says:

    You know what works for me? I get three boxes or bags and go through the house to fill them up with donations. Sometimes I'll haul along a bag of stuff to throw out, but as soon as I fill those boxes, I put them in the car. I agree with not overthinking it. I got stuck for months with some of my relative's dishes, because I thought maybe they'd sell etc.
    Or if I really am having a hard time with it, I'll stream "Hoarders" while I'm grading or ironing. It grosses me out so much that I fill bags full of stuff within an hour.

    I do think it's a constant battle. Constant. Good luck!

  13. ThriftoRama Says:

    Hoarders ALWAYS makes me get up, clean my house and donate stuff. It's magic that way.

    Yeah, creditcardfree. That's a challenge. I know how we live in this house. I'm not sure yet what the challenges will be in the next.

    Anyway, you have inspired me. I'm putting a few more Goodwill boxes in the car right now.

Leave a Reply

(Note: If you were logged in, we could automatically fill in these fields for you.)
Will not be published.

* Please spell out the number 4.  [ Why? ]

vB Code: You can use these tags: [b] [i] [u] [url] [email]