1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice
  3. The Teacher Q&A will be closing soon.

    If you have any information that you would like to keep or refer to in the future please can you copy and paste the information to a format suitable for you to save or take screen shots of the questions and responses you are interested in.

    Don’t forget you can still use the rest of the forums on theTes Community to post questions and get the advice, help and support you require from your peers for all your teaching needs.

    Dismiss Notice


Discussion in 'Personal' started by ROSIEGIRL, Dec 29, 2011.


    ROSIEGIRL Senior commenter

    Come on ... give me some help!
    Our house is a mess and too small (5 adults) but we're not going to move in the forseeable future. May extend at some point but realistically we just need to create more space by attempting a massive declutter.
    Any advice? Where to start? We have masses of books (2 teachers, 3 students) and nearly 30 years of accumulated ... stuff.
    OH is a bit of a hoarder, daughters are sentimental about all sorts of stuff. The loft is full.
    How do I start? How do I encourage others to part with stuff? Any advice or experiences gratefully received!
  2. 1. Kick out the kids - lots of stuff will disappear with them!
    2. One room at a time.
    We have just done this. Everything into bin bags. Re-organise and clean the room completely, ceiling to floor. Then get one bin bag and sort through it. Keep if the room has a place for it. Back into a bag if someone squeaks. Into a box for charity / car boot. Into the bin.
    Second room, repeat.
    Then start looking at the bags that hold the disputed goods. We found that as the house felt cleaner and lighter we became less attached. Especially after the first car boot of stuff we voluntarily gave up!
    If kids continue to squeak put bin bags in their bedrooms and tell them that anything out of the bags that is seen outside their bedroom will be instantly broken and binned.
    Go on, be ruthless, be mean!
  3. Henriettawasp

    Henriettawasp New commenter

    We had to declutter in order to redecorate. It was hard at first - lots of books and, of course, teacher clutter which 'might be useful one day...'.But had to be done so we did a sort of deal. 'I get rid of the last of my degree files - you turf out all the old electrical bits you've been keeping 'just in case' '. Oh, and anything that hasn't been used or looked at for more than ten years probably isn't worth keeping.
    There was also a mass cull of books - but that took a very long time as of course they each had to be read a bit to see which ones were to be reprieved...
    Best of luck - you will be very pleased with the extra space you've made for yourselves when finished. [​IMG]
  4. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    I face this problem to some extent
    I have started with my area first and its hard to throw away 30 years of teaching resources.....but once its gone its gone...then no looking back.Im wondering if the teachers in the local schools would want any of my resource, books i have collected and the posters etc gathered but never used.
    I then 'lose' things which wont be noticed.i have just decorated my sons old bed room and i threw away 3 car loads of tut....but he still has 12 boxes of toys to sort next week plus 10 boxes of marvel /american comics he collected.
    Left to myself they would have been sold by now .but he has to make the decision and i will force him into it next week......a nice room suddenly becomes a junk room again.
    The hardest bit is to sort....and then decide.its easier once you get going....for example do you really need your uni or college stuff.you wioll probabally never look at education psyhology again...or worksheets which gather but are never used,old cards and ttut ,millions of pens and pencils ,rubbers.If you havent used them in say 5 years you wont probably in the next.However, i do tend to cling to the planning.if only to save me time thinking up ideas next time.
    If your husbands the horder then put all his stuff in one heap and show him how much he has accumulated.An old adgae used to be 'clear desks, clear minds'
    Best of luck!
  5. I'm brilliant at decluttering.........someone else's house! I'll do it for you!

  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    No answers, just our house is exactly the same.
    I've often heard it said teachers are inveterate hoarders as so much can be recycled. (Apologies and medals to those not that way inclined who do sort out regularly.)
    I agree with the person who says to start one room at a time and start by sorting Save / possibly save / throw away. Put the intervening 'possibly' pile somewhere out of the way but accessible and if no-one asks for anything in it within a 3 month/6 month/ year window then simply dispose of.
    I find the biggest problem is where to dispose of items in our environmentally friendly society. I feel guilty disposing of perfectly serviceable objects with life still in them and have no time to do car boot sales and the like for as many weeks as we'd need to dispose of our mountain of things.
  7. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    Storage solutions, you don't want them, wooden boxes, cardboard boxes, plastic files, box files, hessian bags, plastic bags, shopping bags, hand bags, rucksacks, sleeping bags, book cases, wicker baskets, log baskets, trunks, tins, video boxes, jars, they are all your enemy, tip them out on the floor, throw them out of the window. You will probably be left with an empty room and a smallish pile of **** that can go in the bin.
  8. Oh how right your are lurk.
    Work of the devil, damn things. They hide in corners, under beds and just fill and fill and overspill....
    I am now on a mission to start the next phase of our declutter. Back to the things that didn't escape the first time round. ALL BAGS WILL BE BURNED!!

    ROSIEGIRL Senior commenter

    That is a really good point Lurk!
  10. I wish. Son has gone, so much of his stuff has stayed! I know I should give him the ultimatum that he either comes and sorts it or it goes, but I am just too soft.

    ROSIEGIRL Senior commenter

    Not in a position to kick them out yet I'm afraid!
    This morning I'm going to start with one cupboard in the kitchen. Every time someone opens the door something falls out - not for much longer though!
  12. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Ditto here. And now he's off to New Zealand next year and wants to 'leave things here in case the job extends itself. . . . .


    ROSIEGIRL Senior commenter

    Mind you (hangs head) my wedding dress is still at my mum's - only been married 28 years!
  14. Go for it.
    Our kitchen is tiny, about 8 x 5 feet and is constantly in need of a clean and re-organise. So yesterday I began. We have changed our cooking habits so the baking trays needed to be more accessible. So all 3 double base units were emptied, cleaned and refilled. Took about an hour and I found tins with use by dates of 2007 (only 2 and of things I don't eat).
    Today I re-organise the work surfaces - the Chef will get a new home hopefully leaving the work surface behind the door clear for rolling, kneading etc.
    One room / cupboard at a time and it will get done!


    ROSIEGIRL Senior commenter

    And photos!How do I organise the old fashioned prints - boxes of them? Going through them will be a days job on its own!
  16. Ah ah ah!
    You don't!
    Leave them in the boxes. You only get to sit down and go through them when you have decluttered. They are your motivivation, your gift to yourself.
    Put them somewhere obvious and only open them if you have cleared a room!
    We have metre of vinyl still to digitise. It takes a while to do and can be very boring. So I set it up as a treat and only get to do it when I have finished another necessary task. Oddly it seems to work - for me!
  17. angiebabe

    angiebabe New commenter

    Yes photos - I have them all over the house so whilst attempting (you note attempting?) to declutter i started to put all the photos into a box. I looked at some of them and decided I really needed to show my daughter next time she visited. Well when it came to finding the 'box' with the photos I wanted to show her I could not find it. Found another box with other photos in but I cannot for the life of me remember where the missing photos are!!! There are really not that many places to hide stuff (well i didn't think so but obviously I am wrong).
  18. I've just moved and I'm in the position where I am trying to figure out how to store all of my rubbish! The answer, I know, is to chuck it.

    I have also decided that this year whenever I buy something new - a pair of jeans, a book or a new bed linen set for example I will throw something else out. It doesn't have to be like for like but I do need to limit what else comes into this house.

    In the move I threw away a juicer and I am debating what to do with the steamer as I've not used that in years either. (I Know I could donate it to the food tech room at school!) I too have a tonne of school stuff which I know I just need to be ruthless with and hundreds of books. The problem is I feel so attached to books!
  19. angiebabe

    angiebabe New commenter

    Yes I feel attached to books too. Decided to give them away on freecycle. The receipients were delighted so I felt better about seeing them go.

  20. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    6 Piles:

    1. Bin/tip/recycling centre

    2. Car Boot Sale/eBay fodder - store outside the house. if not gone in 12 months, move to pile 1.

    3. Donations - books, VHS tapes, clothes. Don't bother trying to sell the first two on eBay. Donate reference books to school, other books to Charity shop or Hospital.

    4. Stuff you're likely to use in the next 12 months - keep handy

    5. Stuff you want to keep but don't need in the next 12 months - attic, shed or back of garage

    6. Anything with 'Department of Education' on it - incinerate.

    Also - CD collection - rip to iTunes and store the whole lot on computer(s). Add all the CDs to pile 2.

Share This Page