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Getting rid of "stuff"

(95 Posts)
Luckygirl Tue 04-Aug-20 08:21:21

I am clearing out as I am hoping to move soon and I cannot tell you how deeply satisfying it is. There is stuff that moved here with us 4 years ago that has not been looked at - stored in shed or garage the whole time.

The sons-in-law came at weekend and cleared them both leaving me with a basket full of stuff I might really need - a hammer, some picture pins, screwdriver etc. etc. Everything else went to them or in the skip that is residing on my drive.

I am finally planning to sell my grandmother's Waring and Gillow dinner service - it simply gathers dust on the dresser and is virtually never used. It has some nostalgic value but noting more.

I feel really happy about all this - a sense of being on top of things rather than looking at all this stuff with a sense of desperation.

glammanana Tue 04-Aug-20 10:18:32


I just wish the charity shops would hurry up and open.

and then we will all replace our "stuff* once again and so the process starts again. grin

Davida1968 Tue 04-Aug-20 10:26:56

Lucky, I understand your feeling. It's brilliant! So great to have this sorted out. We did the same, three years ago and are now settled happily in our new home. I can honestly say that we haven't missed anything which we gave away. (And there was a further sort-out when we unpacked.) Living so much more "clutter-free" makes our life easier. Wishing you every success as you go forward.

Willow500 Tue 04-Aug-20 10:30:39

We have this to do as we are putting our large 4 bed house up for sale this week and moving (albeit temporarily) into a small bungalow. We've been here 34 years and although we've periodically had clear outs there are boxes in the garage with stuff from my parents house as well as things we packed away 6 years ago when we had it up for sale before and never got out again. I have to be ruthless and get rid of a lot of things I know my family will not want.

Lucky how are you going to sell your grandmothers dinner service? I have my mum's in my dresser which is never used but is just too nice to throw out. I also have 3 dolls houses I need to part with sad

Grandmabatty Tue 04-Aug-20 10:38:17

When I downsized two years ago, I spent the summer clearing out lots of stuff. The local charity shops and the dump were on first name terms with me! 90% of the clutter wasn't even mine but family had asked me to store and wouldn't take back. I made it clear it was all going. It was such a good feeling. Now, if I buy something, I lose something. That's the rule. Well done.

harrigran Tue 04-Aug-20 10:38:45

We emptied our second home but the furniture is sitting in a storage unit which we are paying for even though it is being given to a charity shop, they will collect when they are good and ready.
When we updated the house 9 years ago we put all the paintings in the attic where they remain, I just can not make the decision as to where to put them.

CrazyGrandma2 Tue 04-Aug-20 10:42:23

I absolutely love a good clear out. Sadly DH doesn't share my view. Luckily in this house he is unable to access the loft so cannot put things in there :-)

MerylStreep Tue 04-Aug-20 10:49:21

Petunia At last, another chuckerouter The trouble is: I have nothing to throw out 😥 I hate clutter.
Fortunately I'm chief sorterouter in a charity shop and I love it, I'm ruthless.
My OH jokes that if he stands still too long he'll be out the door 😁

Luckygirl Tue 04-Aug-20 10:54:04

My OH spent years making DVDs of various films - not sure that it was legal actually - I have hundreds of them here - seriously hundreds. I do not want any of them - not to my taste, but cannot get rid of them to charity shop as I am unsure whether they have been pirated or not.

I also have hundreds of CDs, some of which are being sent to an online shop who pay for them. But the rest are just sitting there - I have made a list of those that can be streamed on spotify, and the rest need to go.

I used to work as a photographer in the latter years of my career and have loads of camera equipment - including an old medium format film camera (which a friend is trying to get valued for me) - flash units, filters, old digital cameras etc. All got to go - I am not carting them around any more!

Gwenisgreat1 Tue 04-Aug-20 10:54:18

9pins, I can so sympathise. Hate to say it but it just gets worse (after 50 years). I dread it if DH pops his clogs, I'd be tempted to set fire to it all, but obviously some is important. The floors, windowsills tables are his filing cabinets. We have a filing cabinet, but he doesn't like it!!

JaneRn Tue 04-Aug-20 10:54:29

Thank goodness all our charity shops have been open since all the other non-essential stores opened. They seem to have been overwhelmed with donations to the extent that our nearest one will only accept any offerings if you phone first to confirm they have room for them. I think a lot of people must have been spending time going through their cupboards!

The advice often given in "how to clear your clutter" books is to get boxes, etc in which to store things which seems to defeat the object of de-cluttering.

Ohmother Tue 04-Aug-20 10:58:54

When we moved and downsized we sent a lot to auction and used the money to buy a new vacuum etc for our new to us house.

In this house I’ve done a yard sale which didn’t shift much. Made £26 in 3 hours. Later half went into newly opened charity shop, other half to tip.

Camping stuff went on Gumtree. Easy and free from the app. I’ve made a lot more on there after looking at prices on EBay for a guide. Good luck all.

Georgesgran Tue 04-Aug-20 11:01:21

My friend is moving soon, after a 2nd divorce and very much downsizing. The house and everything in it is hers from her first marriage 45 years ago! She’s a hoarder - never has a clear out and will take anything anyone is getting rid of - eg. my dining room carpet, which has remained, rolled up in her loft for 15 years. She’s trying to be ruthless, but it’s not working!

Luckily, the local removal firm says they’ll keep/sell/dispose of any big things she can’t keep and an enormous skip has now been dropped off at her house.

I wouldn’t know where to start with it all. X

Joylyn Tue 04-Aug-20 11:08:36

I know I’m a hoarder but I have managed to bin some things and I am pleased that I have 3 bags and 2 boxes awaiting a charity collection. I always donate to British Heart Foundation as I do gift aid with them and every little helps.

kittylester Tue 04-Aug-20 11:09:44

If you Google China matching companies you might find one who would be interested in buying your dinner services.

Theoddbird Tue 04-Aug-20 11:36:57

The act of clearing things out gives you energy. I have just cleared out loads of fact sold enough to pay for 2 months groceries and wine.... The feeling it gave me was amazing. My cabin is a far more restful space...

catladyuk Tue 04-Aug-20 11:48:24

As there are still many people who do not realise this, I feel that I must point out that the 'charity' bags that get put into all our letterboxes are not from the actual charities.
Many are bogus, most are from collection companies who give the charity a pittance, usually about £50 - £75 per ton, then sell everything on, mainly to third world countries for up to £2000 per ton making themselves a private profit, completely against the ethos of charity.
The amount donated to the charities is supposed to be written on the bags but this is rarely the case.

Please, please do not use these bags. Take your unwanted items to local charity shops, put them in clothing banks or even give away on fb, freecycle etc, do not use these bags as they are robbing charities of much needed funds.
Apologies, I will get off my soapbox now, but this is one of my (many!) bugbears!

CatterySlave1 Tue 04-Aug-20 12:00:39

Well done on the clear out but can I just add something. There’s a saying “One mans junk is another mans treasure” and simply chucking things in a skip for landfill can be an awful waste. What one person considers junk can be re-purposed, painted, mended and used again in far more cases than you might think. Unless it’s broken plastic, maybe consider taking a photo and posting it for free on your local freecycle group or Facebook marketplace group site (tons around) and let others decide for a few days if it’s worth something to someone. Or arrange to get it delivered to or collected by a charity shop. If not then skip away if you must! Even old tools have value to others, community groups are desperate for half full tins of paint, and unloved furniture can help someone starting off. Just something to consider. Not quite as simple as throwing it directly into a skip, I’ll grant you, but much more worthwhile.

Sueki44 Tue 04-Aug-20 12:04:33

My criteria for charity bags is if they take books . If the bag asks for makeup and perfume but not books or bric-à-brac then I know that donations will be just sold on. Not all charity bags are suspect- the Heart Foundation often posts bags.

catladyuk Tue 04-Aug-20 12:07:56

Thank you @CatterySlave1, my sentiments exactly!

Mealybug Tue 04-Aug-20 12:08:38

I need to do this too, there's only two of us (he's bedridden) so all of the clutter is mine, also thinking ahead (although I'm not ill lol), I want everything ship shape for my daughter. I would hate her to come in the house and be faced with a mountain of stuff to shift. I stand around looking at it and thinking I really need to make a start but have no motivation.

maureen118 Tue 04-Aug-20 12:17:16

... I did a bit of a blitz last summer ..ditched the folding garden chairs as not used in 10 years .... but of course I have now needed them ...Grrrr

Glimble Tue 04-Aug-20 12:40:44

Eighteen months ago my mother passed away and I had to clear her flat, which made me take a good look at my own flat and I did a major declutter, throwing away things I had kept for years and were of no use to anybody. Just recently I had to clear my spare bedroom to have a new carpet laid so I was very careful what I put back and got rid of loads more stuff. It's a really great feeling to see everything so neat and organised and I can find the things I really need. On emptying my wardrobes, I found 3 packs of knickers and two pairs of slippers that I had forgotten about and 6 pairs of socks I had never worn!

paddyanne Tue 04-Aug-20 12:45:03

I decided yesterday to cull my cookery books ,but I dont know if people use books now when recipes are easily found on the net.I dont really want to bin them

Luckygirl Tue 04-Aug-20 12:46:31

The skip company that I am using are a recycling company. They will go through everything and recycle where possible - only a very small amount will go to landfill.

I have just thrown away a pile of plastic box lids - I have carted these lids about for years, with no clue as to where the actual boxes might be!

My research shows that very few charity shops round here will collect. I am not able to lug the stuff about unfortunately, so that is a problem.

cc Tue 04-Aug-20 12:56:37

We hope to move soon and my DH has been clearing and throwing. I have real trouble doing it, either I get stuck on one item, thinking about where it came from etc., or I want to keep something because it might be "useful one day". Now he is basically sorting out the things which he thinks can clearly be thrown away and I go through them which is more productive.
At the moment we intend to move to a flat from a very large house, reducing out floor space to a quarter of our current size.