View Full Version : I need a clutter intervention

11-09-2010, 03:15 PM
My house is lived in - and cluttered. I have been trying to be on top of it and it has gotten away from me. I feel like I am on the verge of needed a clean sweap intervention. (ok, It is not as bad as that- but the stress it is causing me is as bad as that.) I need to do something. I am off to clean, from ceiling to floor, my kitchen and declutter. I am also cleaning out 1 cabinet today, and my counters will not have piles on them anymore. ok, here I go...

tomorrow the bathrooms!

11-09-2010, 03:22 PM
Watch HOARDERS - it will really motivate you to clean out the house.

11-09-2010, 03:40 PM
Watch HOARDERS - it will really motivate you to clean out the house.

this is SO true.

11-09-2010, 07:50 PM
Do it bit by bit..and as you clean something off, keep it decluttered.

And don't beat yourself up for things getting out of hand, I've gone through periods when I've been better with the clutter and times when I haven't.

11-09-2010, 07:58 PM
Also, just asking b/c this is often a common issue with clutter:

Do you know how to get rid of things that you are no longer using - even if they're not broken/worn out?

Piles of items indicates that there is too much stuff in the house to begin with - so purging is an essential part of cleaning. Moving piles to organizational devices just shifts the problem instead of resolving it.

11-10-2010, 02:46 AM
At first, focus on shedding items rather than cleaning. It will be way easier to clean, and moreover keep it clean, if you do a major purge.

Be brutal and get rid of things as much as possible. Free up a spot to store things you REALLY want to keep but don't have a need to have out all the time. But make a game with item count goals.

I have seen too many cluttered homes cleaned up only to fall apart in weeks or days. You need to rid of any extraneous items to make the clean up worth it.

11-10-2010, 02:53 AM
Some tips:
--set a timer and do 15-30 mins at a time. If you pull out an entire closet at all once, you will be embroiled in that mess for hours on end. Baby steps. It's amazing what you can accomplish in 15 mins.
--to get started, do a quick sweep through your whole house and get rid of things you know are trash. Grab a kitchen garbage bag and go room to room. When it's full, immediately bring it outside to the trash can/dumpster
--stop clutter from coming in. When you get the mail, sort through it immediately and recycle anything junk mail, extra envelopes (we pay most bills online but they still send us envelopes to mail in our payments--annoying!), and the like. Same thing if you have a kid in school--when you open the backpack, recycle what you can right away.
--when you fill up a bag for Goodwill, bring it there ASAP. Don't wait until you have everything you want to donate. Get rid of it as you make decisions. I'm lucky in that the Goodwill store is about a mile from my house, so I stop there often, even if it's just with one bag.

Definitely watch some Hoarders. Wow.

Realize also there is a difference between your house being CLEAN and your house being ORGANIZED. You can't actually CLEAN your house if there is stuff everywhere.

11-10-2010, 07:50 AM
When I started, for a month, I took 2 bags with me for 10 minutes a day. That was all the time I could spare with the kids etc. But, I had a trash and a donate bag. I only spent 10 minutes and I got rid of a ton of stuff. A ton. The key is being uncluttered really is to get rid of as much as you can. I know you want it clean and clear NOW, but it is a process to get it there.

When I did the kitchen cabinets, I spent a lot of time just thinking about how they should be to remain uncluttered. I ended up with enough space in one to hold all my lunch making supplies and Band Aids. It has helped a lot overall because I was always going up and down the stairs for Band Aids and now they're right where I need them. Before, I'd end up with a box of Band Aids on my counter until I remembered to take them up again.

Good luck!!

11-10-2010, 04:09 PM
Thanks for all the responses. My kitchen is clutter free (at least as far as the eye can see). The counters and floor are clear and clean. (no piles)
And I moved a bounch of stuff into the rooms it is suppose to be in. I also have made our immaculately clean family room off limits. I am using it for my organization hub. I have divided the room into sections. there is a sell section, and a few donate sections. The donations will be dropped off on saturday and I will take pics on friday night to post on craigslist. It is off limits until the house is organized and clean.

DH has agreed that he will pick up after himself and not put anything down in a room once it is organized. I put a basket on each stairway so that if something needs to be brought upstairs or downstairs, we can put it in the basket and deal with it when we actually go up or down.

I still have to tackle the cabinets, but first I want a clutter free living space that I can see. Today is the dining room and bathrooms.

I feel like I am getting rid of 3/4 of the things we own.

11-12-2010, 12:21 AM
Good for you! You got some great advice. I am in a similar place as you but have been lacking the motivation for a while. I live in a really small house, so if I don't stay on top of things they get completely out of control every couple of months. Tonight I finally got a burst of motivation & cleaned out my girls' dresser. Took a huge pile down to the basement to be dealt with later (putting away, giving away) but at least their drawers and closet are organized with in season clothing & laundry can be put away neatly, etc. I find it very hard to keep things organized if I don't have the right system in place in that space. I have another 5-6 major clutter zones I need to tackle but first my booby-trapped pantry needs help! And I used to be OCD about neatness.
Keep posting your updates so we can inspire each other to continue.