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Any tips on how to de-clutter? Please, I'm desperate!

What are some of your criterias when you de-clutter? The thing is I tend to hold on to stuff like "oh, this is when we went there. - I got this one from him or her" (all those excuses, lol) How do you handle that? How do you get rid of stuff that belong to your children? I got a 5 year old dd and her room is SO FULL (my fault, I let her have it, I know). If I do it together with her we'll get nowhere. How do I decide what needs to "disappear"? How do I convince my husband? He's the "I might need this later on"-type as well. I really need some advice, because if I don't have some strategy or diplomatic approach I'll get so frustrated I'll be going on a chuck-it-all-out-frenzy. Which is not good because regret is bound to kick in shortly after.

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Asked by Anonymous at 5:05 PM on Jan. 1, 2013 in Home & Garden

Answers (18)
  • box it up and put labels on each box.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 5:06 PM on Jan. 1, 2013

  • we do the box up important things then things that we have not used in 6mo to a year we either give away or sell

    Answer by luvmygrandbaby at 5:11 PM on Jan. 1, 2013

  • We live in a small house is limited room for storage. I boxed uo a lot of things already. You can't swing a cat anymore in the attic! No, stuff needs to go.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 5:13 PM on Jan. 1, 2013

  • I tend to get rid of pretty much everything. When you look at something, ask yourself if you would buy it if you walked into a store today. If it was gone, would you have to replace it? If not, you don't need it. As for kids' stuff, I save the things that were important, but not everything. I save some of their art work, and I use an app called Artkive to save the rest as pictures.

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 5:15 PM on Jan. 1, 2013

  • I was like that. For the past few months, I have been able to "let go" of a lot of things that beforehand I wouldn't be able to. Some advice- for paperwork, drawings, etc of your daughters, take a picture of it and make a book. For example, I have one for my son of some of his drawings that he did in Kindergarten, 1st grade, etc. It takes up less space than if I had of kept all of the school paperwork. It also makes a neat yearbook. If there are things that you have memories attached to but don't use at all, take a picture of that as well. Now, go through all the rooms with three boxes- 1 box for things that you want to keep but are either out of place or need a home in that room, 1 box for trash, and 1 box for donation/yard sale items. For me it also helps if I give my things to someone that I know needs them.


    Answer by JeremysMom at 5:23 PM on Jan. 1, 2013

  • You might want to check out REALLY good advice on decluttering there.

    I learned to get cruel. I toss everything because "stuff" no longer holds meaning when you have too much of it.

    Answer by gdiamante at 5:41 PM on Jan. 1, 2013

  • As tempting as it is to hide the fact that you are making things disappear, at 5 y/o, your DD can help you decide what to keep and what to donate. I was very surprised this past year when I had my 5 y/o son help me to sort out what toys, games, clothes we should keep and what we should donate so that another child might be able to play with or wear the things that he no longer did. He actually made it easier by making really good decisions. There were things that I would have kept because "he really likes that", that he decided to let go of. This also gave me insight into the things that he truly valued. ONE time, I donated a large stuffed animal and we asked the man to get it back off the truck. The next year, when he was ready, we said goodbye to that animal as well. It's a part of life to mature and let go of the baby stuff and say hello to the "big guy" stuff. You will be setting a good example for her. Good luck! :)

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 5:43 PM on Jan. 1, 2013

  • I toss everything because "stuff" no longer holds meaning when you have too much of it.

    ^^ This is so true! Do you ever watch Hoarders? They go on and on about how important and special every single thing is, but then it's all piled and crammed in like garbage. Too much of anything, even special stuff, means it can't really be special, or at least treated like it's important.

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 5:44 PM on Jan. 1, 2013

  • Do like I did, let your husband go thru the rooms - but you can't be there when he does (and you have to keep a positive attitude) and let him throw away or put away all the junk! Mine did it this week and boy I am so glad he did! He did what I have wished somebody would do!

    Answer by madmueller at 5:44 PM on Jan. 1, 2013

  • Think of the greater good. Donate. Sometimes it isn't so much "losing" as it is helping another family when you think of it that way.

    Paper piles, or magazine articles you are saving can be scanned into your computer for later reference.

    So can pictures of those "things" that you are attached to. You can put the pics in a scrapbook with little notes about the trip you bought them on, or why they were favorite items. Sometimes when you discover the real "why" of keeping the item, you realize it was rather insignificant. A prize from the claw machine at the grocery store is less significant than the souvenir from the once in a lifetime Disney vacation you took.

    If it's technology-related, swap it for credit somewhere, or throw it away. if it's over a year old it is outdated.

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 5:47 PM on Jan. 1, 2013

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