Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

1 Bump

cleaning fanatic--NOT but I try

I need some help. how does someone clean out a house to look decent when they are a pack rat. have a habit of keeping stuff thinking I'll use it for crafts to make gifts. my place needs gutted out. would love to have it looked professionally cleaned like the first day we moved in our house. i'm having a hard time givinp up stuff.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 9:20 AM on Aug. 26, 2010 in Home & Garden

Answers (6)
  • I have that at my place and have devised all sorts of strategies. To keep it short: I basically hide stuff for a certain period of time. If in that time its never called for or used, I toss it. BUT...never toss it in plain sight... either shove it down to the bottom of your trash can, hide inside something else (like an empty cereal box), OR toss it in a dumpster near where you live (apartment complex or store).

    If its then called for you can honestly say you don't know. Thats the most effective method so far. 19 out of 20 times they never miss the stuff.

    Answer by Zoeyis at 9:24 AM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • I had a hard time for years, then we moved to a smaller place and I had no choice, it was still very cluttered, and uncomfortable, then we moved out of state, and we had to fit everything in 1 u-haul....I got rid of a lot....didn't realize how much my husband still managed to take that was junk until this last move when he had to leave for a new job, and I had to clean out the garage!! Guess what, I've learned that when I get rid of stuff....we very rarely miss it, and most of what I keep isn't worth the cost of storing it!!! Half the time when you go to find something to use it you can't (well I couldn't anyway) and end up buying new anyway, so sort through your things, have a big garage sale or two, send some stuff to a thrift store, throw some stuff's SOOOO worth having an organized home. The clutter free home will make your life so much better than any of that STUFF does!!

    Answer by ohwrite at 9:25 AM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • It is a mental thing. We save stuff for many reasons... we think we can repurpose it, we think we can reuse it, we think all our memories are physically attached to it. When you let go of something, the stress of that attachment only lasts a short time...then the out of sight out of mind kicks in. You have to get over that little hump of attachment. It's like fear... close your eyes and count to 5 and let it go... and its over.

    For some reason we as a society base a great deal of happiness on things....but in the end they are only things. So. What you need to do is start small. Find the smallest, least cluttered room and begin there. Take 30 seconds an item and ask yourself (1) do I really NEED it? (2) can I LIVE without it? (3) could someone less fortunate than me BENEFIT from it? There you go...KEEP TOSS DONATE. Before you know it the room is clean! TADA... go on to the next room.

    Answer by WoodWitch at 9:34 AM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • Throw out anything you have been keeping "just in case" for longer than a year. I know you shouldn't even hold on to it that long but for us pack rats that will get rid of alot. You need to get past feeling overwhelmed before you can start cleaning. Even if you do one drawer or closet a week. Once you start to see a difference, it will get easier.

    Answer by CorrinaWithrow at 9:35 AM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • That would stress me out. I routinely go through the house and make boxes for Salvation Army. I like SA bc they pick up. I start a box and load things into as I determine that they are ready to be donated. When the boxes are full I call SA and have them picked up.

    I have no issues getting rid of clothes, shoes, books, old blankets, things I meant to return and never used. I figure I am cleaning up and giving my old things to someone who could use them more than me. I can't stand clutter. If you are keeping scraps or other items that you use, then you need storage boxes or baskets to keep things you will used organized so you can actually find it when you need to.

    Answer by Niki_sd at 4:04 PM on Aug. 27, 2010

  • If you need to recruite a tough friend who will help you sort. You need someone that will be like 'NOPE, IN THE DONATION PILE" Get some wine and invite a friend over to help you with this. Make getting rid of things a fun choice to give you a clean start. If you are the yardsale or Craigslist type, then do that and use the money to do something special for yourself.

    Answer by Niki_sd at 4:06 PM on Aug. 27, 2010

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.