This forum needs action. We need to motivate each other.

tripletmom83August 1, 2012

Hi everyone. I can't believe this forum doesn't get more action. I, for one, am obsessed with organization lately. And judging by all the containers and baskets and such in the stores, so is the rest of the world. Although my home is usually nice and clean, I have to admit it does not come naturally to me. I have to be constantly vigilant, and re-motivate myself often.

We recently had our kitchen remodeled and after packing up everything, and living all torn up for months, we are finally back to normal. I am determined not to clutter up my new kitchen so everything has to "earn" it's way back in. Or at least that's what I told myself. It is easier said than done. Can I really throw away my nutcracker, even though I don't ever remember using it? What if someone brings over some uncracked nuts? Actually I think I have two of them. And two of those little picks that go with them.

I did in fact unload quite a bit of stuff, but it was not easy. I love having a place for everything without a bunch of stacks in every cupboard. And my counters are nice and clear now.

So here's the thing, my goal now is to get the whole house in shape. To have a home for every single thing. You see I finally figured out that all those little piles of stuff that accumulate on flat surfaces are there because we really don't know where to put them. Or, if they do have a home it is in such an inconvenient spot that we don't bother.

So I am slowly but surely going through every drawer, shelf, cupboard, closet, corner, cabinet, box, and basket in this house. I am trying to be brutal about getting rid of things but finding it very difficult. I need to keep giving myself pep talks.My new mantra is "No sentimental attachment to inanimate objects" But, like I said, it's easier said than done. I would love to hear how everyone else motivates themselves.

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re: the nutcracker(s)
Donate them.

IF someone would ever bring you uncracked nuts (really?), you CAN use a hammer.

Good luck with your organizing!
I've got the decluttering and organizing down pat... cleaning is my weak link.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 10:33PM
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I am still in the middle of a kitchen renovation, well, kind of a whole house one!

However, I have been thinking the same things. I can't wait to get to put things away and get things more organized. I am already planning some areas, but been reading on here for even more ideas.

I moved about a year ago and got rid of a lot of things, but moved to my grandmothers house full of items that I had to get rid of. I still have multiples of some items that I just don't want to get rid of, but not sure I really want around.

So, I guess just know someone else is in the same boat and doing the same things!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 3:51AM
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LuAnn, LOL. I was joking about someone bringing me nuts, but that is the point, there is always a "what if". Getting someone else's perspective is really helpful in making you see when you're being kind of ridiculous. The nutcrackers are OUT!
JJ44444, Good luck with your renovation. I have an old book called "Clutters Last Stand" by Don Aslett. I got it several years ago and used to reread it every year or so to spur me on to get things cleared out. I hadn't looked at it in a long time, but just came across it and decided to read it once again. I remember it being a great help in my decluttering efforts, and very amusing. Reading tonight, back to decluttering tomorrow!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 9:53PM
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I have the same struggles as you tripletmom, but while it's good to be brutal, I also think it's ok to keep a few things that you're torn about. Think about it, how much space do a couple of nutcrackers take up? If something really makes you struggle, then keep it for now and work on things that you are more decisive about. Decluttering is an ongoing process, so you may simply open a draw in a few years and grab those nutcrackers and decide to toss them.

You're on the right track though with getting rid of as much as possible, and setting up some systems that work better for piles of clutter. Just asking youself "why does this stuff end up here all the time" like you are doing gets you thinking about developing some systems that work better and changing some simple habits. It works really well.

Also, I think you need to be aware of decluttering fatigue, it does get tiring trying to make so many decisions at once, and you can end up just confused and indecisive from it. Do little bits at a time. I find now that I've become more aware of things in the house, so from time to time I'll just open a cupboard etc and notice it getting full, so I'll end up going through it for things to toss or donate on the spur of the moment so I actively declutter on the fly, and I'm much stricter about what I do actually keep in the first place.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 1:02AM
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I'm in the same situation as Tripletmom, obsessed with getting rid of "clutter". Yeah,I'd toss or donate the nutcracker. A hammer works great. I had a tool for cracking lobster claws, I threw it away and one day had a hankering for lobster. Guees what? A small hammer and my kitchen scissdors worked just fine! Any of Don Aslett's books are great,very motivational. He believes in getting rid of everything you can (minimialism) and then it's easy to clean house. With everything put away or given away or thrown out, you live with only the things you use and love. By the way, I love my kitchen scissors. Use them for cutting coupons, cutting up whole chicken,and they can go in the dishwasher to sanitize them!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 6:40AM
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Kitchen scissors are one of my favorite tools!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 8:39AM
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I need to get remotivated too. I hit a little bit of that decluttering fatigue just as the school year was ending, so put decluttering on the shelf for the summer.

I love Peter Walsh's books- someone here recommended them to me. He really motivates me. I especially like the sentiment that if you are buying more storage solutions (he also points out what you do) that you probably aren't solving your clutter issue, but just attempting to shift it around. That's something I've been guilty of in the past for sure.

The kids are getting ready to go back to school so I am trying to get motivated to declutter further. One of my most frustrating obstacles at the moment is a 6 year old who will not part with anything willingly. Not just functional stuff that could be passed on to charity, but also trash- worn out socks, remittance envelopes from charities asking for money, etc. I dispose of the trash while she is not around, but I have guilt about getting rid of her old toys and clothes without her blessing- which at this point she won't give me. I end up feeling badly when I give old ones away behind her back- chances are she will never look for them, but I sure wish she could do it willingly. *sigh*

I'll be back more once school starts :)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 3:31PM
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I might look for a couple of those books... at the library, of course, so I can read and return them!

I agree about looking at why things end up where they are. I just got some boxes that will fit in shelving in my office for the cords and other computer things. I have a second "maybe will be an office sometime" spot, but it is not convenient, so my mini office needs to be kept organized, but with the things I really need and use.

My kitchen will be done in another week and a half at most, so I am looking forward to unpacking and getting things organized and put away. I have been looking around on the net and here when I have some time at ideas that I can use to make things work better and use my space more efficiently. I actually re-designed my sink cabinet and added a new cabinet in a corner to create not only a lot more space, but using it better and more in the way I will use it. The little changes netted me 3 extra drawers!

I have just started looking in this forum, but I will be back, and often!

Thanks for all the great ideas!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 6:52PM
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I'm doing things a little at a time and trying not to get bogged down with too many details, for now. Today I worked on my shoes and purses in my bedroom closet. I decided to store my "winter shoes" in under-the-bed boxes which are empty now that I donated all the clothes I had stored in them. That left only the sandals and summer shoes I am currently wearing on my closet floor. (I don't have a walk-in). It will be so much easier to find what I'm looking for and more importantly to put them back where they belong.
Also,I read somewhere about using a dish drainer to store pot lids. So I tried it out and it works perfectly. I didn't want to screw anything into my new cabinets, because I'm still experimenting with the exact placement of things. My pans are in a cabinet with pull out shelves and now the lids are in a totally separate 18" cab. right next to the stove. I put it sideways right in front. There is a little space behind it that I put some things that I use infrequently.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 10:03PM
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I went to a talk given by a Professional Organizer. She said those wire mesh stacking systems are not your friend.If you buy storage first, you'll end up just stacking things you should be getting rid of. Get the stuff pared down first, then buy what you need to store it.And NEVER store anything directly on the floor. If there's a flood, you'll regret it a lot.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 10:10AM
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Jannie, I agree with that Organizer. Get rid of stuff first. That's what I am doing. Right now I have the few evening bags that I kept and actually use wrapped with tissue and stood on end in a shoebox, labeled with a sharpee on my closet shelf. When I get all finished with my decluttering I may reward myself with some pretty boxes to store them. By then I will know the exact size and shape I am looking for.
As for the flood, if it gets as high as my second story bedroom closet I will have far more to worry about than a bunch of sandals.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 12:58PM
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quasifish - put the child on a strict space budget, and let her know she can't acquire anything new unless she makes room for it. If her closet is full of outgrown clothes, she decides what she's willing to part with in order to get new ones.

Same with other things: when her box for papers is full, all new stuff has to go straight to trash unless she makes room by discarding other stuff.

Also, let her have as much input as possible into her storage issues and solutions.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 3:29PM
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This is a really powerful realization:

You see I finally figured out that all those little piles of stuff that accumulate on flat surfaces are there because we really don't know where to put them. Or, if they do have a home it is in such an inconvenient spot that we don't bother.

It's not an accident that the FIRST part of that old adage is "a place for everything."

Of course, not everything is WORTHY of a place; but that is the first step.

As for how I motivate myself--well, I don't often, at least not lately. Depression will do that. but as I get un-depressed, I find myself being motivated by wanting things to work better.

I don't often have trouble tossing stuff. But I do tend to ask myself, "does this deserve to displace something else?"

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 10:24PM
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I'm with you, LuAnn. Love decluttering and organizing. Cleaning, not so much. Just watch an episode or two of Hoarders, and you'll be in a frenzy decluttering, organizing AND cleaning.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 6:27PM
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I love watching Hoarders. Probably because it makes me feel like a total neat-freak. Do you realize there are at least 3 different series on hoarding on different networks? The worst one is Animal Hoarders.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 8:26PM
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I can't watch Animal Hoarders. Well, when we had cable TV I couldn't watch because our darling pup came from a situation like that (as I half-jokingly tell people, if animal control in Tennessee makes a deal so you "only" have to surrender 20-ish dogs and can keep the rest ... You know they had too many dogs). And now that we ditched cable I really can't watch it (no access).

I used to watch the one with the psychologist who looked a bit like Tanya Harding, it always made me feel like I had to clean something.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 10:19PM
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Reading this organizing forum on a sloow day at work, and now am determined to go home and clean and declutter. We have four crockpots. And I don't know why. My house is very clean, I have a place for most everything, but now It seems I must be lacking somewhere if I've never thought about the excess crockpots. Ha!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2014 at 3:29PM
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Are they at least different size crockpots? At one point, I did have three, but they were extra large, medium and the mini size (never could figure out what do do with it, but it was a gift).

That said, I'm down to one that I use regularly, the medium size.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2014 at 8:30PM
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Somebody mentioned using dish drainers for lid holders. I had two or three metal file separator "jobber thingies" tht weren't being used. Washed them up well, filled them full of the lids that I use and stuck them in the bottom of the cabinet under the sink. I love them! Just an idea.

I come here every once in awhile to get some inspiration. My husband is homebound right now from shoulder surgery, so I've been trying to get some organizing done around here.

Thanks for all the good motivation and tips.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2014 at 10:18PM
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SloeGinFizz: I recently heard about caramelizing onions in a slow-cooker. That's what you can do w/ your mini crockpot! It made me wish I hadn't gotten rid of mine.

"Fill the cooker with enough sliced onions to make it 1/2 or 3/4 full, about 3 to 6 onions depending on the size of your slow cooker. "

Here is a link that might be useful: Caramlizing onions in a slow-cooker

    Bookmark   December 2, 2014 at 10:37AM
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