Why is decluttering so difficult?

The good news is that we have found a new house and will have the keys on Saturday.

The bad news is that I am the one who is mainly responsible for packing things up and decluttering.

Why is decluttering so difficult?

Why do I find it so emotionally tough to get rid of any of the children’s toys even the ones that they have not played with for years?

Why does it seem like breaking some religious commandment to let go of any books at all?

Why do I feel like a mass murderer if I get rid of anything related to family history?

Then there are the matters where I would like the rules from those women who just “know” these things.  You can leave a comment please with any guidance.

1. How many tops does a child need to ensure you are not found guilty of child neglect.  Is about 100 each sufficient?  Same question on trousers, shorts and jackets.

2. Is it good to keep hand-me-downs when the younger child won’t get to that age for a couple of years yet?

3. Just how many of the children’s school certificates and art efforts is it sensible to hold on to?  Why does getting rid of any of them send me on a beat myself up session?

4. Is there a list somewhere that tells you the right amount of kitchen paraphenalia to meet domestic goddess status?

5. Is it normal to collect shells, lighthouses, globes or anything relating to inspiration or Ireland?

You might call me a fruitcake (rushes off to count how many fruitcake tins I have) and don’t even get me started on the quirky rabbit!

Empathy from others like me gratefully received and sanity from anyone else.


4 thoughts on “Why is decluttering so difficult?

  1. Yay! Saturday! Brilliant work Ms ThinIce, brilliant work. We keep a lot of our little man’s stuff in a large storage container. Whenever there is anything new, we just chuck it in. That way it’s all together and doesn’t take up too much space. I would keep it all, certificates and everything but only art efforts that are reasonable for the age they were at, or that you particularly like, or that haven’t been reproduced a million times. As for the rest of it, I have no idea! But I’m sure others will. Polly x

  2. I feel for you. I did this 8 months ago when we moved and I found some of it traumatic. My son was 12 at the time and I found going through his things particularly difficult. When I say to friends that I kept everything that he did I’m sure they didn’t believe, but when he was a toddler and did a drawing (or even a line on a page) I would date it and keep it. It’s quite hard to get your head around how much paper and stuck together toilet rolls this can amount to when they get to 12 but I had it. Snaffled away in boxes, folders, drawers etc in different rooms didn’t seem so bad, but when you put it together its a small forest worth!
    I did do a huge cull, but I’m quite sure that I still kept more than necessary!

  3. Well I love to declutter. Love that feeling of having space. I think the key is to start with the non emotional stuff. Clothes – 100 tops sounds loads, divide into piles: wear a lot, wear some times and never wear. The never wear should be sold on eBay or netmums, sent to charity or offered to friends and family. I would then encourage the children to divide the sometimes wear into keep and go piles. As for hand me downs. Yes keep them if you have space and if they aren’t going to look dated.
    Passing on books is like giving people a gift. Only keep those which you will reread or which hit an emotional note with you. Pass good reads onto friends and family and the rest to charity shop.
    Create achievement boxes for the kids certificates and only keep the special pieces of art. Let the children decide what they want to keep.
    Kids toys – again encourage the kids to sort a bit like the clothes. Keep special pieces for grandkids and if it helps make parting with them easier donate the others to a children’s charity or hospital.
    Keep family history pieces – just make sure they are organised.
    No real idea about kitchen stuff. My guess if you haven’t used it in 12 months or don’t know what it does get rid.
    Sorry if I have waffled on. The key is to not do it all yourself, to enjoy feeling in control and unburdened and to make sure as much as possible goes to good causes, is sold or recycled rather than the bin. Good luck!

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