Decluttering discussion thread: share your wins, ask for advice, inspire each other!

#1

This is the thread for:

  • Sharing your decluttering journey and decluttering wins;
  • Asking for advice from the other super cool peeps on this forum on how best to re-home unneeded items or attack your clutter; and
  • Cheerlead each other in our efforts to reduce our ownership of unnecessary things!

Some of us might be aspiring minimalists or KonMari adherents. Some of us will have a lot of clutter; some will only have a little. You may want to set yourself a challenge for decluttering, to be documented in this thread, or you may just want to pop in to share your wins. Whatever your decluttering focus, this is a good place to share and chat.

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#2

I’m kicking this off by declaring my intention to declutter 500 items in May. I’m calling this Minimalist May.

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#3

My decluttering is ongoing. But I sent two bags of books off today. And hung a bag of bras that don’t fit in the middle of my closet (to be offered as gifts to visitors or tried on again in case they fit in the future)

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#4

Unsure on how i want to approach my decluttering ie. Number of things etc, but I’m committing to figure out soon and get started as it’s been on my list for a while.

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#5

I’ve committed to number of things because I know that there are far more than 500 things I should be able to get out of my house without too much angst. It’s a reflection of how bad I’ve let the clutter get :expressionless:

#6

Oooh. Gonna do this.

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#7

I’m in :raised_hands: pregnancy has pressed the necessity of this. I need to make room in our apartment for the baby, eventually. And more pressingly, I’m needing to store my normal wardrobe (somewhere…) and make room for maternity clothes.

Most recently, we bought a shelf for over our chest freezer. We used bins we already had, and moved over the extra paper towels, Kleenex, and ziplocks we randomly had in the cupboards in our guest bathroom. So much more still to do though!

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#8

I have a lot of debris in my house, and I want it to go and there to be BONUS space. I even didn’t buy fabric at the store after my class yesterday because I so very much want to sort out current projects, leftover bits and pieces, rather than adding to the debris and overfilling my spaces.

I will count all the pieces and take photos but won’t make any goals yet.

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#9

Yes please.

I have boxes of STUFF that needs to go.

We had all this stuff in storage for 18 months and didn’t miss any of it. Life was good, all our stuff fit in a one bedroom apartment and we joked that if the storage unit burned to the ground it would be fine.

It didn’t burn to the ground. Now it’s in our new house. We bought a three bedroom house thinking our family would stay but I can’t even get to the window in the spare room to open it and no one can come to stay because the boxes cover the bed :sob:

We know from experience life is great without it, but actually shifting it seems to be a huge issue. I have huge guilt about landfill, Mr Pancakes is very sentimental.

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#10

I find that sending things to a specific home (e.g. someone who actually wants that thing, via Buy Nothing, real life friends, or possibly gumtree / ebay on rare occasions) helps me to feel better about the environmental waste. When I donate to charity I worry it will end up in landfill.

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#11

My journey with my new Buy Nothing group is slow going unfortunately. I’ve been making an effort to kick start the group, but I feel to do so I need to be selective about what I post up.

I’m worried that the way forward is going to involve at least a portion of it going directly into landfill. I probably need to rationalise it by accepting that past us make some mistakes and either we put it there or we “donate” it to a charity and increase their workload only for it to end up in landfill anyway either through their sorting or pretty quickly via the next owner.

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#12

It never occurred to me to set a number of items I would declutter. I just say, “I need to declutter” or “I’m going to clean out this one closet” or “I really should tackle the garage.” (I never tackle the garage!)

I’m going to try it. 500 items in May!

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#13

I already have 30 items in May as a goal, so this works well for me. :wink:

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#14

For the past couple of weeks I have been aiming to declutter at least 1 item a day. Even if it’s something small and dumb like an old box I was saving “in case” I ever had to ship something about that size. Or, oh hey, I have a bunch of 8.5 x 11 ziploc bags left over from my last job! I can scoop kitty litter into those!

I struggle with the how, though. Some things are easy - decent clothes go to the charity shop that supports a LGBT health center, we have Little Free Libraries all over to stick books in. But a lot of my stuff needs decluttered because it’s broken or falling apart. Like, what do I do with the old fitted sheet that’s currently on my bed, that I noticed last night is literally in shreds on Boyfriend’s side? How does that even happen?! (Sigh. Probably cats is what happened.) I hate putting stuff in the landfill but I certainly can’t donate that. I have cut up shredded towels for rags but something like a sheet isn’t absorbent or good for cleaning or anything.

Another nemesis right now is a scratching post that my cats have outgrown; it’s very small and great for tiny kittens but, well, they’re not tiny any more. No one wants this. Apparently cat shelters will not take these at all? I’ve asked around and that seems to be a global rule. Probably because it’s hard to really clean them well.

I also have really struggled with Freecycle and Buy Nothing and similar - people never, and I do mean NEVER, show up when they say they are going to. And they get PISSED if I can’t be home for a handoff during work hours even when I clearly say in my post “Pickup evenings and weekends only.” I think I am going to start doing porch pickup if I use this again; my current neighborhood doesn’t seem to have a porch theft problem and if it does go missing, oh well, it’s not like anyone’s out money.

At any rate, if we do move forward with our plan to GTFO of Chicago within the next few years, shit has got to go. A friend runs a group yard sale every summer so I’m going to try and get in on that to unload some nicer stuff; going to have to be small stuff only though, no furniture or anything, as I don’t have a car so I can’t haul furniture to her place.

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#15

My decluttering is ongoing because I try to be ruthless about what I allow in my home. Especially with Bobbin now, everything has to have a place or it can’t live here.

Currently I need to declutter my kitchen. We’ve been gifted some small appliances that I need to get rid of. I need a weekend when H is home to tag team baby care so I can pull it all out and make decisions.

Tangentially related question: how do you guys handle near uselessly deep cabinets? My kitchen has lower cabinets that extend past the door to the left or right in such a way that you need a flashlight to see what’s back there and to get anything out you need to remove all the other stuff (unless it’s tiny). That’s why I’ve stashed the air fryer back there since I never use it.

Also…why build cabinets like this?!?

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#16

That’s so frustrating! I have a cabinet like that and it’s so awkward to get stuff into or out of it. It is narrow too so I can’t fit big seldom-used appliances through the door. I stash my homecanned goods in there but inevitably what I want is all the way back there…

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#17

I have some of these! I use baskets =) Then it’s easy to just slide the basket out. Actually, ALL my cupboards are like this. So I put lesser used stuff in the back- I have a bin for pasta, a bin for baking goods, a bin for water bottles, that sort of thing. They sit behind my most used items.

#18


That’s the front row, snacks.

Then a basket behind it. This one has mason jar lids and canning supplies.

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#19

If hers are like mine, though, they don’t go straight back. That’d be easy. Mine kind of go…sideways? So, you have to move things at a right angle once you get them through the cabinet door.

It’s a stupid design. I had a bedroom closet like that once, too. You opened the closet door, and you basically see wall. The entire closet extended, narrowly, to the right of the door. Why???

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#20

Ah I’ve had a couple of those. For my super narrow one, I put a low cardboard box under it, so I could slide them toward me. I did my canning jars since it was so narrow. For my bigger one I had, I did baskets and just treated it like Tetris haha. Slide front out, slide left over, etc.

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