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De-cluttering, the never-ending process

(279 Posts)
karmalady Tue 21-Mar-23 07:49:13

De-cluttering can be emotionally and physically draining. We, when we were two, started the process from the family home and that was in 2006. The big de-clutter

Since then we moved house twice and had two more de-clutters

Then we became just I and I moved again to a new build with much less storage but I got storage made and I developed room for stash

Now at 75, I am on another mission, to remove what I don`t need or will not need. Last remove was from my garden just two days ago, tall planters, short planters and the contents

That bit of help, advice and encouragement is all we need. We know what to do but it is, or can be, psychologically difficult. Slow and steady is key

karmalady Tue 21-Mar-23 07:54:19

Today I am going to bring my first and oldest rolser shopping trolley into my hall from the garage. It is destined for the charity shop, where it will easily be sold but first, little by little, I will fill it with items fit for re-sale. It may take take a week or more than a month, or it may remain empty but it will definitely go to the cs

fancythat Tue 21-Mar-23 07:57:51

I have been decluttering at my own pace for 4 years. I reckon on 1 more year to go.
I can now see light at the end of the tunnel!
The house wasnt even that bad to start with. Well I didnt think it was. But I knew it needed doing.

I have only ever moved house the once. And may not move again. Which hasnt helped with decluttering.

I have gone the other way to you with storage. I no longer need two chests of drawers. And two work desks will be removed shortly. And I have my eye on more furniture removal.

Allsorts Tue 21-Mar-23 08:12:54

Karmalady, I admire you. To move three times must be so stressful. I rattle around here and wish I could summons the courage to move once.

MawtheMerrier Tue 21-Mar-23 08:17:15

Only three times?

5 for me and I imagine that’s considerably fewer times than many!

Susan56 Tue 21-Mar-23 08:25:06

We have started decluttering/sorting this year.So far two car boot fulls to the tip and several bags to the charity shop.

The house isn’t messy but we realised things we would have probably thrown away when the children were living at home have been put into the wardrobes in their bedrooms even though the items will never be used again.

Our plan is to empty the loft as it is getting to be a struggle getting up there.After the loft will be the garage, shed and greenhouse.

We are getting there slowly but surely.Reading about others doing the same thing is encouraging.

Humbertbear Tue 21-Mar-23 08:27:07

I spent several years sorting out a lifetime’s photo albums. I saved photos of people and mounted them in chronological order in three albums, Every photo is labelled and the albums are accompanied by a family tree. I gave them to my DS and GD. I threw away thousands of pretty (and not so pretty) pictures of all the places in the world we have visited. I did also give away over a thousand books but it made little difference to the bookcases. We don’t buy Knick knacks but my collection of books on Polar Exploration is way out of hand.

kittylester Tue 21-Mar-23 08:29:12

We have moved 10 times but have been here 30 years.

We took advantage of lockdowns to declutter and did the loft and garage. I am quite strict now about not keeping things that we, or the children, won't want.

Casdon Tue 21-Mar-23 08:35:59


Only three times?

5 for me and I imagine that’s considerably fewer times than many!

But moving twice in less than twenty years in your sixties and seventies is more than most people do I would think, it’s a different matter completely when you are younger and moving up the housing ladder?
I’m still in the process of decluttering the family home, and I’m finding it hard going doing that, so progressive downsizing and decluttering really isn’t a challenge I relish.

glammanana Tue 21-Mar-23 08:42:40

Over the next month I am having the shed in the garden removed and all the contents sent to the tip,half pots of paint old buckets etc used for wallpaper paste and old pasting brushes etc things that have built up over the past few years,I am going to have the base repaved and the shed is going to a charity which is used by men who plant seeds for their allotments it will give me lots of space for my garden table & chairs.

I also have to start clearing out two large wardrobes and declutter them they are overflowing and are in desperate need of sort out sooner rather than later.

Iam64 Tue 21-Mar-23 08:43:34

When my husband was given the devastating, unexpected diagnosis almost a year ago, he began ‘putting my affairs in order’. Alongside this, he emptied the attic as I can’t bring heavy things down from there.
Now I’m alone, I have two bedrooms full of stuff. We’d started organising photographs but I still have 3 boxes to go through.

The admin around his death has been time/emotionally consuming. I’ve decided to put only one day a week aside for ‘stuff’. It does feel endless

MawtheMerrier Tue 21-Mar-23 08:51:57

Don’t rush it Iam - plenty of time to look at pictures, perhaps sort them but enjoy the memories, and relax in the security of your home with the things you shared.
It’s a temptation to rush at it after a bereavement, my Dad had had Mums clothes cleared within days. But it’s a bit like pulling a sticking plaster off and can leave you feeling raw.
I find there are days when I feel the urge - so I do a bit- and others when I am happy just to get on with my life.
“As and when” is my mantra!

MerylStreep Tue 21-Mar-23 09:09:07

I’ve move 14 times since I left home at 19. Two of those were abroad.
From the age of 66-76 I’ve moved twice.
If we could take out solicitors and estate agents I’d probably do it again.
But I’m never going through that hell again 😱

Sar53 Tue 21-Mar-23 09:53:37

I have started to de clutter, books, CD's and DVD's that we will never listen to or watch again.
DH retired two years ago but still has 12, yes 12, I've just counted them, suits in the wardrobe plus numerous jackets and trousers. He has at least 8 brand new work shirts still in their wrappers. He is never going to wear most of these again but trying to get him to sort them out is like pulling teeth.
If I say too much I am nagging, I cannot win.
Hopefully one day we will get there but confidence is not high.

henetha Tue 21-Mar-23 10:01:52

I'm in the middle of a big de-clutter and it seems never ending.
How did I accumulate so much stuff?
I'm going to the charity shop again today.

karmalady Tue 21-Mar-23 12:30:51

I have actually moved 11 times in all, most were up the ladder and to do with work. Moving bigger is easiest, moving to smaller and smaller is very much harder in all ways

Iam, I truly empathise re your photos. My husband actually spent a very long time getting every photo onto dvds and usb, now the AC each have the full set and he made sheets showing all the photos in miniature. I kept only very few of the most precious original photos, a shoe box worth and got rid of the rest and there were a lot. My siblings dumped all the family photos on me when mum passed. If that was me now, with so much more adaptation to being widowed, I would take the lot to a professional and s*d the cost. Each one had to be scanned or photographed and then edited and stored

Truly, doing the photos was the hardest part and would be so upsetting to do as a widow.

karmalady Tue 21-Mar-23 12:32:48

re dvds and cds, I took every one out of its case and bought caselogic cases that store neatly side by side on a shelf. I printed a label for each case and just gave the outline genre such as classical, new age etc

karmalady Tue 21-Mar-23 12:38:49

like this one

Iam64 Tue 21-Mar-23 12:49:55

Thanks for you advice Maw, based on experience and wisdom x

Theoddbird Tue 21-Mar-23 13:33:14

I plan on getting rid of at least half of my clothes this summer. Good quality will be sold on ebay. Three years ago I made enough for three months groceries doing this. The rest will go to charity.

karmalady Tue 21-Mar-23 15:27:04

would you recommend charity shop or salvation army bin for a very good quality rainproof warm winter coatwith a hood? It will be going but I am not sure who to

MerylStreep Tue 21-Mar-23 15:32:52

Not the Salvation Army bins. That goes straight to the recycling companies.

Tenko Tue 21-Mar-23 15:33:17


would you recommend charity shop or salvation army bin for a very good quality rainproof warm winter coatwith a hood? It will be going but I am not sure who to

I volunteer in a charity shop and they are quite fussy about the condition of clothes. However if they are not in good condition they go in a textile recycling bag and will still get money for the charity.

Franbern Tue 21-Mar-23 15:44:07

When I decided to move probably into a flat, I spent a good five years decluttering. Was quite fun. Sold lots on local Gumtree and 'found' things I did not even know I had lost!!!!

When I discovered two packing boxes still taped up that had come in my previous move several year earlier from the family house. I began to realise how easy it was to just collect things.

So I moved into my flat - not quite minimalist- but with little clutter. Three and half years here and ch clutter I have collected again. Having got rid of my car I have a lovely big garage in which to 'store' it, Every so often I have a splurge and have sold on quite a few items (using Gumtree or local Marketplace). Before I moved I got rid of my entire, large stash of knitting wool to local knitting group, Have now an even large stash!!!!!!

Not sure why I am keeping so many of my favourite books - I find print hard to read these days, prefer audio books. Photos........well, like all of our age group, far too many of these. Once a year do a local car boot sale with my daughter, and really do work hard to get rid of stuff in my garage then. Know that what is there will just be thrown out when I am no longer here. As my go off to Uni, etc I do love it when I am able to pass on to them some of this acquired stuff - so two of them have had microwaves from my garage, another has had a food processor, a juicer, etc. etc.

karmalady Tue 21-Mar-23 15:48:04


Not the Salvation Army bins. That goes straight to the recycling companies.

Arghhh, I have put a lot of good warm clothing and shoes into the local salvation army bin. That is gutting