Does the clutter go away with a new house?

ShmomeyJune 23, 2012

We are overwhelmed with the stuff in our current home. We are filling bags of old toys,papers,clothes,etc...

We do not want to haul all of the extra stuff to our new home and we need to sell our current home minus the clutter.

We are selling our current home and moving to a new home mid November.

We really want to start fresh at the new house without the juck that piles up.

Any of you new home owners get back in the clutter world after moving to a new home or did it go away?

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Clutter doesn't magically go away. Being uncluttered is a lifestyle choice.

Moving into a bigger house almost guarantees you will just accumulate more clutter, unless you make a conscious effort on a daily basis to (1) not bring anything into your home and (2) remove the clutter from your home.

We have never been packrats, but it took us about FIVE YEARS of constantly purging and re-organizing our belongings to get to a point where I feel uncluttered!

I highly recommend reading the Unclutterer articles and forums if you want to get serious about uncluttering your life.

Here is a link that might be useful: Unclutterer

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 10:17AM
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It's called hoarding. Changing venues won't change the affliction. The repeated "we" indicates you've found your soulmate in clutter. That's something.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 10:39AM
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It depends. Is your current home cluttered because it's so small? My Dad is fond of saying that DH, DS1 & I outgrew our old house 3 months after we moved in because of the new job I had where I worked out of the house. But I absolutely HATE to move so we saved and planned and saved some more to be able to afford the forever house which would have enough space for our personal stuff and my business stuff to be properly organized and uncluttered. So far it has worked nicely and everything has a place. I still have to clean off the mail clutter and backpack-jacket-shoe clutter in the mudroom/cubby area but that's about it.

The clean out you're doing now will help tremendously. Don't move all that with you--donate it or have a yard sale at your current house. When you move, make sure everything you move with you has a place. Take a couple weekends in a row to completely empty all the moving boxes in your new space so there is no clutter from that. And then everyone needs to make a concentrated effort to pick up after themselves every evening before bed. It's amazing the difference it makes.

If you're cluttered because you hoard things, then that's another story. If you're moving into a smaller home, that could be a problem. One thing I learned during our build and move was that if I tackled a huge cleanout/unpacking all at once it became easier to discard as I knew I had to keep moving or I wouldn't finish.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 11:29AM
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In fairness their is a difference between clutter and hoarding!

I think there are three parts, first don't don't take anything that isn't needed to your new home, sell and donate anything you need. If you haven't worn it, or used it in a year, you likely don't need it!

Second, design your new home so that there is a place to put the things you do need. Have a drop table for mail near the garage door with a recycling bin so that the junk goes into the garbage immediately, set up your office so everything you need is there, and not accumulating on the kitchen table. Basically organize everything up front so everything has a place. Moving is a great time to start new habits!

Third, make new rules about your "stuff" for instance, every time your kids get a new toy they have to donate an old one, every time you and your spouse get new clothes you have to donate something old. Keep bins in the garage for donations to keep this process organized.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 11:33AM
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I have seen plenty of large homes with very little good storage. Lots of storage is key to keeping a home clutter free. Luckily our house was built by an organized woman with 5 kids! Lots of storage. We are doing some remodeling and decorating, so it has been a bit messy since we moved in just over a year ago, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

The hardest things to keep up with are the kids' toys, school projects, art & paperwork.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 1:53PM
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You also need to train your eye to dislike it. At my previous house, I had a huge run of counter top that used to collect cr@p like a magnet. When we put in granite, it was so pretty that I declared the counters "no clutter" zone. I didn't want to see anything on them. Then, when we built, storage became a huge deal to me.... I wanted a home for everything. I really love my new house and am pretty ruthless about getting rid of stuff and paring down my decorating. Even though this house is quite a bit bigger, I just like it very "lean" looking....I want the architecture to shine and am taking the time to find the perfect pieces of art for this house, rather than filling the walls. My nine year old dd is a little pack rat, though. I make her get rid of something every time she brings home a new treasure, plus I force her to keep her "collections" in designated drawers and cubbies. I really have to stay on her! :)

I can honestly say I really enjoy purging things now!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 4:48PM
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We moved into a house that was exactly twice as big, with a garage that was twice as big. It didn't take long to fill it up! We're getting ready to move to a smaller, empty-nest house soon- should be interesting.....

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 8:32AM
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A new larger house is not a magic wand that makes clutter go away.

Either you work at keeping clutter away, or you will have even more of it.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 12:09PM
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It has for me. My large mud room has been a life changer.

I guess the true test will be when the kids go back to school and soccer starts up again.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 1:07PM
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Check out the Flylady's website. She helps disorganized people learn to organize, take charge of the clutter in their lives, and get you on a doable cleaning system. I don't follow her exactly, but I get a lot of good ideas from her. Note: If you subscribe, get the daily digest--she sends WAY too many emails for one day. It has gotten better than when she first started.

Anyway, she writes frequent essays on clutter and how to get rid of it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Flylady's website

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 4:52PM
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We are filling bags of old toys,papers,clothes,etc...

This is typical hoarding. You need to go through, toss, donate and have a yard sale if you're organized enough to do so - but know they are a lot of work. Sometimes it's just easier to donate.

Then you'll need to make a list of what needs to be done in order to get your house ready to sell.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 9:23PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Well yes and no...yes if you consider out of sight going away. We have an attic above the entire house including garage area and a lot of our stuff ended up up there....much we have yet to uncover. But downstairs where we live, it is much less cluttered....I even have an empty drawer and an empty shelf in my kitchen!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 10:11AM
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Over the weekend we threw out at least 15 bags of stuff (i.e.) toys, magazines,papers and old excersise equipment. We plan on throwing out more each day. My final plan is to call 1-800-junk. I want them to haul off our old sofas and desks. Our new home will have built in cabinets and desks on the third level.

We are also buying new furniture for our new home. I think our house will sell faster if we are not in it.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 2:05PM
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My suggestion is to call salvation army or goodwill before calling 1-800-junk. And NEVER throw out anything that is still usable.

Instead itemize your donations using turbotax's "It's Deductable" or goodwill's online calculator. A simple example, I just filled 2 garbage bags of clothes and according to turbotax that will save me $350 on my taxes at the end of the year(value of the clothes was around $1400ish). Last year, as a result of donating items we no longer needed we saved over $1,500 on our taxes.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 2:38PM
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If you can't find a place to donate your belongings, you could try a "FREE" ad on craigslist. List what day/time you will be piling stuff on the curb. (Make sure you hide the things you want to keep, or specify in the ad what is NOT for the taking, or people will run off with your lawn gnomes!) :)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 3:43PM
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"I just filled 2 garbage bags of clothes and according to turbotax that will save me $350 on my taxes at the end of the year(value of the clothes was around $1400ish). "

2 bags = $1400 ???
That is very high for used clothes!

How will you PROVE that value if you are audited by the IRS?

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 4:25PM
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Currently the clothes are in a big pile and not in the bags, so maybe it is more like three really full bags... In any case, it is entirely honest and on the up and up. It all adds up fast. I just went back and looked at the exact amount, according to turbotax the clothes (and shoes) are worth $1,225 and it will save me $340 on my taxes.

I itemized the list according to Turbotax's value guidelines, and Goodwill is supposed to verify what is in the bags in comparison to what is on my list. I itemize everything when I give it to goodwill, and I recieve a signed receipt from them.

It adds up faster than you think! :)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 5:55PM
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Our home is too small for us and I get rid of things often. I cant stand stuff just sitting around. One rule I have is that if I have to move it more than 3 times to get to something that I really need it must be removed from the house. Sometimes its unfortunate because I will finally, 2 years later go looking for it and remember that it made me mad and I threw it away.
Some people are pack rats like my DH. He is also very particular about "his stuff". Especially his desk area. One day I was home while he was at work and I went at it. He had grocery store receipts from 2004!!!! He has about 5 sets of gold clubs in the attic and he doesn't even play golf anymore...

I really hope having more space gets rid of some of the clutter. If everything had a home it would be so nice. Maybe I should just move everything out of the house and then start moving back in the most important items first and then when I am out of room no more crap comes in.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 6:12PM
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"It adds up faster than you think! :) "

Oh, I know, as I also donate for the tax deduction.
But, I was audited and had official paperwork with actual prices that the items were sold for.

I was just wondering how you will PROVE to the government that the donated items are worth that much... if you are audited.
They don't take TurboTax data as proof.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 6:47PM
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I use TurboTax (It's Deductable Online) to determine the value of the donation, item by item. I then fill out a receipt at Goodwill or Salvation Army and include the same list and values.

The receipt from the charity is proof that I donated the items that I claimed and the numbers from TurboTax supports I claimed the correct amount for those items.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 7:11PM
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Like I said, they don't accept TurboTax as proof of anything...

oh well, hope you don't get audited!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 8:57PM
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TurboTax provides the IRS guideline amounts, very similar to the amounts provided as a guideline by both Goodwill and Salvation Army, in fact, I find it to be more conservative.

How else would you determine the value of your donations?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 12:34AM
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One way suggested during the audit was photos showing the items donated.... but I find that to be too much work!

I found that my YWCA Thrift Shop keeps track of each items and gives you credit for what it actually sells for. No disputing the value that way. They send an annual IRS-worthy form that has my total for the year.
Needless to say, I give them everything now. And that documentation sailed through the audit.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 5:22PM
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Great tip, however that wouldn't work for me as there isn't a charity in my area which would keep track of our items that way.

I just did quite a bit of googling on this after your comment and it looks like the amounts in It's Deductible (as well as Salvation Army and Goodwill's suggested values) have stood up to IRS scrutiny in many many audits so I feel pretty comfortable with it!

Sorry for hijacking the original post here - back to the OP - whatever you do, don't through out anything, donate and take the tax deduction!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 5:29PM
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