Ask the grumpies: Feelings about decluttering

Leah asks:

How do you feel about decluttering? Is it easy or challenging for you?

Is it easy or challenging?  Who knows?  We haven’t tried!  I mean, we’re already hitting where our budget constraint hits our utility curves, so why would we want to mess with that?

More seriously:  I try to not let stuff in the house to begin with.  So when we get gifts we don’t want, they go in our goodwill cabinet (or gift closet for unopened children’s gifts) straight away.  The only actual “decluttering” I do is when DC2 outgrows clothing and I hand them down to a colleague which was something people did before it got called decluttering.  Most of the stuff that leaves our house leaves it because it is broken or worn out or used up or outgrown at the point it is no longer useful.  We don’t systematically clean things out or have any sort of targeted decluttering.

Update:  DC2 recently went through hir room and closet and got rid of a lot of stuff zie had outgrown.  I guess that’s technically decluttering, though the questions were more “have you grown out of this/do you want this” than “does this spark joy.”  When zie did that, the goodwill cabinet (where we put things we don’t want until we decide to deal with them) got full, so we took multiple loads to goodwill, three of my colleagues with younger kids got bags full of clothing and toys, and we have a bag of new with tags stuff (gifts that never got worn) ready to go to a refugee center in the city.  So I guess we declutter but don’t think of it as decluttering.

What about the rest of Grumpy Nation?  Do you declutter?

7 Responses to “Ask the grumpies: Feelings about decluttering”

  1. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Unfortunately today is another good day to call about gun violence https://5calls.org/issue/demand-action-against-gun-violence

  2. delagar Says:

    Moving helped us declutter! I would not have believed we had a lot of junk, since I throw away or donate stuff we don’t use a couple of times a year; but when we moved, we donated literal truckloads of books, clothing, and kitchen supplies. The new house is so free of clutter!

  3. Alice Says:

    Yes and no. I haven’t done any big formal declutter processes, but I do periodically hit the point at which I realize that there is too much unshredded mail or that [insert category of items] is getting out of hand and we need to get rid of stuff. Current to-unload categories includes blankets (not sure how we came to have too many, but we do) and outgrown toys. I also have plans for tossing all of our pots and pans and replacing them with a smaller set at Christmas– the current set has breaking-down Teflon on it and I don’t feel great about continuing to use it.

    I do sometimes have phases of doing bigger tidy-ups on the house and decluttering comes in as part of that, but for the most part, it’s just a continuous process of keeping a lid on things.

  4. Leigh Says:

    My parents and my in-laws are all hoarders. My parent, until last year, had never thrown out a single box for anything they had purchased in the last 25 years. And my husband’s room at his parents’ house is all storage now. We’ve severely improved how much stuff we bring into our home in the last few years, so now we are mostly working on decluttering the older stuff or gifted stuff. We threw out the bath mats my parents bought me 10 years before we moved so that we weren’t tempted to keep them… we’ve been slowly working through KonMari but it is taking a while because a) it’s really emotional, b) we only have so much time and c) we are trying to thoughtfully get rid of things.

  5. Katherine Says:

    When I think of decluttering, I usually think of putting away or getting rid of all of the detritus of daily life that accumulates on every horizontal surface in my house – opened mail, magazines, toys, shelf-stable groceries that never got put away, things that need to go down to the basement, etc. I do this about once per month, since my family and I can’t seem to put our stuff away or recycle no-longer-needed papers in a timely manner.

    We have never been tempted to do a Kondo-style purge, mainly because we have always been income- and space-constrained so we haven’t accumulated a whole bunch of stuff we don’t use or value. Watching the Marie Kondo show on Netflix (which I enjoyed a lot!) really drove this home for me. We have nowhere near the amount of stuff those people had!

  6. First Gen American Says:

    Both my mom and mother in law downsized and a lot of their stuff ended up in our attic. Coincidentally, I Just did 2 carloads of furniture to the ReStore today. I did try to sell some of the stuff but the donations weren’t anything super nice and there seems to be an abundance of dining sets in this area and no one wants them.

    A couple of my suits are starting to look dated and I haven’t worn them in a while but mainly I wear out my clothes and shoes. A lot of the stuff I recently gave away were things I didn’t buy, like furniture that was included in the last house sale, hand me downs and stuff like that..

    Where does one donate toys to these days?
    Our goodwill stopped taking them after the lead paint in toys fiasco.


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