Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Doesn't Work For Me

Happy Wednesday to you! It's time once again to post another WFMW tip!  Shannon has asked us to post things that do NOT work for us!

De-Cluttering My House

My house is cluttered.  I have toys stacked in piles in various rooms, bookshelves overflowing with too many books (although I'm not sure you can ever have too many books), I have craft supplies coming out of my ears and in a jumbled mess in about 3 rooms of the house, my closets are crammed full of clothes that either need to be thrown away or given away because I no longer wear them.  The list goes on and on!

After trying to keep up with the housework and trying to stay motivated by following the advice of Flylady (can I just say my email box became too cluttered with those reminders), I finally broke down and hired a cleaning team to come in twice a month to do the deep cleaning.  The ladies do a nice job of that but I find myself cleaning for the cleaning people and my house is still cluttered!

I've thought of having a big purge and selling off stuff at a garage sale and then donating the rest, but who has time for that?!  So, my house still remains cluttered.

Any advice for me?  

De-cluttering my house does NOT work for me. To find out what doesn't work for others, be sure to check out the other links at Shannon's, the creator of Works-For-Me Wednesday!

My past WFMW entries are found here.


5:04 AM

At 9:23 PM, Blogger The (Almost) Amazing Mammarino said...

I understand! I've been on and off the Flylady wagon many times.

You absolutely MUST read Messie No More by Sandra Felton. She helped me understand WHY I have issues with clutter.

Next, read another of her books, The New Messies Manual, and she can give you practical, step-by-step ways to declutter.

You can do this!

At 9:36 PM, Blogger Julie said...

Those books are both great. As for the actual decluttering - choose a small area - a closet, a corner of a room, etc.

Have 3 boxes labeled "Keep" "Trash" "Give/Sell" - everything from the area goes in one of those boxes.

When the area is empty give it a quick clean (dust, vacuum, etc.) then take the stuff in the keep box and put it back. If it obviously does not belong in THAT spot then go put it where it does.

Take the give/sell box and stack it somewhere either for a run to the thrift/charity shop or to save for a yard sale.

Try to tackle one area each day. You may actually like it so much you keep going.

At 10:51 PM, Blogger Awesome Mom said...

I like to make sure that I have spaces for everything. Right now my living room is also the play room, so to keep it from looking like a toy store exploded I had to take action. I grouped like items together and put them in plastic bins. They stack up easily and I have taught the kids that they have to ask me if they can open one of the boxes. They also know that they have to pick one up before they move on to another. I have bins that are open to hold the odds and ends and also allows the kids to have some free play. I think it is a pretty good balance.

I also try to have them pick up the room every few nights. It takes a lot longer, but they learn to pick up after themselves.

At 12:04 AM, Blogger JanMary said...

I will watch the replies here with interest, I too have fallen of the Flylady wagon!

Are you from Ireland or a frequent visitor? I recognise quite a few places in your photos.

At 4:13 AM, Blogger Chelley said...

I really have been stuck

everytime I clean there are little feet behind me messing it all up!!
hubby joked that he wanted to get toy boxs with locks on them! hmm doesnt sound that bad...

to bad I cant get hubby to put the dishs in the dishwasher insted of walking by it!

At 4:52 AM, Blogger MCC said...

I finally decided to STOP keeping stuff for yard sales. It's never as much money as it is time. And the clutter doesn't leave until you actually SELL the stuff. Donate it and get the deduction. Then enjoy having that stuff out of your home that much sooner!

At 5:25 AM, Blogger Sarah said...

I hate yard sales! I just don't have the time or energy to do them. So I give everything away. either I donate it locally or I put it on Freecycle. with free cycle the person who wants it comes and gets it. And that works for me. I don't even have to take it some place.

At 5:36 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5:39 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

Ugh...I know exactly what you mean. No matter what- its is soooo hard to get ahead with housework especially with toddlers.Yardsales require so much time and coordination.I had one before and did pretty well at it but it was my whole weekend...

At 8:13 AM, Blogger Pieces said...

I have to agree to skip the idea of a yard sale. It is just not worth the clutter and time it takes. Donate or freecycle EVERYTHING. As soon as you decide to get rid of it. Find a drop off place that is near your regular route of errands and schedule a stop there every week. It helps to get the giveaway piles out of the house immediately.

A note on books--we have painfully gone through periods where we sell books to clear shelves. Many books we love but know we may never read again. And most books are available from the library if you want to revisit them. Painful--yes. But you will love the results of only having in your house the books that you cherish and refer to often.

Good luck!

At 8:31 AM, Blogger Kathleen Marie said...

We definitely have the same book problem, they are EVERYWHERE but I refuse to part with them! I got rid of some in the past and regretted it tremendously.

I have also noticed that more toys are coming back into my world with my little granddaughter's visits. I about tripped over a little phone on wheels this morning...

I have no advice for you. I guess I would ask the cleaning people if they could straighten things out for a little extra $$?

I haven't a clue. Hugs (in sympathy)!

At 8:45 AM, Blogger The Wooden Porch said...

Random thoughts:

I like FlyLady, but not her emails. I just bookmark Kelly's Missions and check them out daily. It's also a relief not to read them on days where I'm gone all day or have too many other things to do than housework.

I live too far in the country (down a gravel road to boot) to have a yard sale. I keep a big box in the basement or somewhere out of the way and fill it up with things I want to get rid of. When it's full I take it to a consignment shop (mine sells everything but men's clothing). I've made great money that way. -More than I would with a yard sale because their store gets a lot of traffic. Plus anything that doesn't sell, they donate and get rid of themselves.

I also boxed up almost all of my kids' toys and stuffed them in the basement. I'm so sick of kid clutter. The weather is warm and it's beautiful outside this time of year so they can just play in the yard.

At 9:33 AM, Blogger ames said...

Purging is a great thing, and it feels liberating. My advice to you is just don't try to do it all by yourself and try to get it done as quickly and efficiently as possible but still allow for some fun time and take breaks!

At 10:11 AM, Blogger Anna said...

Try this!

At 12:15 PM, Blogger Mom2fur said...

Well, I have 2 ideas. One is to only tackle one area at a time. Maybe you could concentrate on one closet, or one pile of toys? I don't think there's a deadline for decluttering, LOL! (Just make sure you minimize the amount of new stuff you bring in!)

Second idea is to check if there is a United Cerebral Palsy chapter in your area. I used them a number of years ago and they come right to your house to pick things up from you. Sure you won't make money like a garage sale, but garage sales are a hassle to run, anyway. And your donations are tax deductible!

At 1:02 PM, Blogger Sheila said...

I can only make a suggestion for the books. I have been using Paperback Swap for months and I love it! I get rid of the books I don't need anymore and I get new ones! :) OK, you don't necessarily end up with less (unless you donate your points to charity) but it sure is fun. If you mention me (Sheila Bloedow), I get one credit.

At 1:23 PM, Anonymous chris said...

I usually pratice what I preach therefore at this particular time I cannot give you an advice. What I'm doing though is reading every one's advice.

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Cookie's Mom said...

I am addicted to either getting rid of things via a freecycle group on yahoo groups, or selling things I no longer need or want on cheapcycle (another yahoo group). A lot of areas have such groups, and you can subscribe to email posts to the group, or create and send posts of things to give away or sell. In ourhome renovation, I sold our countertop microwave for $20, the old ceiling fan for $10, and gave away old lighting fixtures and a VCR/DVD player with a busted DVD. All these things avoided becoming part of the landfill, my home is less cluttered, and I am $30 richer.

As for books, we post them on, and if they don't sell in a given time, we donate them.

Baby clothes we sell at a church-wide sale where 30% of the profits go to women and children's missions.

I find MY problem is simply too much stuff, so I make that my focus.

BTW - we too "clean for the cleaning people". I think everyone does!! :)

At 2:21 PM, Blogger Lani ~ The Wooden Porch said...

I'm with Chris. I've been following up so I can read other people's ideas.

At 3:02 PM, Blogger Barb said...

Clutter is almost always the result of just having too much stuff, for me anyway.

Unfortunately, the only solution is to get rid of the stuff. To keep it from being overwhelming, I go through one room in my house at a time. One closet, one room. When that's decluttered, I move on to a different area.

It's amazing. As hard as we try to prevent it, clutter just happens!

At 5:28 PM, Blogger abebech said...

We had a "One thing in, one thing out rule" and it worked for us for some time! Hoping to get everyone else back on board. Essentially _every_ time you acquire a new object of any kind, something else of about the same size must go (doesn't have to be the same category). Donation, freecycle, however you want to do it -- but you can't just store it up to get rid of all at once.

At 7:39 AM, Blogger Doodlebug said...

Me either! I can never get it done. help here!

At 2:44 PM, Blogger boysmum2 said...

My house needs to be decluttered too.
We have just moved house and that proved how much crap I actually have, but have I thrown anything out while settling into a new house? No, I just try to find a new home for it and if that fails I go out and buy a new unit to put it all in!


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