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Love Your Little House: Less stuff in your space

As I said before, I am a borderline hoarder.  Hoarding + Little House = TROUBLE.
I have no trouble getting rid of some things, but there are others that are harder for me to let go of.  But, I’m trying…

imageProblem: Projects
These are the items that I plan to fix, plan to refurbish, or plan to repurpose.  But for some reason, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.  I love to make something new out of something old, but even if I completed all those projects, my house wouldn’t have room to hold them all! 
Solution:  They need to go.  At my garage sale a couple of years ago, I let Carter Station go through our basement and sheds and get rid of some of the unfinished furniture projects I had laying around.  They paid me for my junk, and I knew that my projects would finally get finished and go home with someone who loved them.  I kept the things that I was planning to use in my own home, but after two years, some of those things are still out in the garage, so it’s probably time to invite someone out here again.

imageProblem: Sentimental Items
My dance trophies and hubbies 4-H trophies are a prime example of sentimental items that take up a TON of room.
Solution: Take a picture.  If we set up a quick photo session and photographed these items, I wouldn’t feel guilty at all about getting rid of them. 
Adam’s art pile just kept growing and growing, so I kept a few of my favorites and took pictures of the rest.  And then, *gasp* threw them away.

imageProblem: Gifts
Sometimes it’s hard to get rid of things that people gave you as a gift.  Especially if that person is close to you.
Solution: Just do it.  Last summer, close to our five year wedding anniversary, I  got rid of any wedding gifts that had never been opened or used.  Decorative items that weren’t my style were given to someone who would appreciate them or donated.  Kitchen gadgets were given to college aged cousins who might need them.  And my kitchen thanked me.

imageProblem: Toys
Oh my.  This is a big problem area for us.  There are a million excuses… “But he loves that toy!”  “But Aunt ____ gave it to him.”  “But that was from his first Christmas!”
Solution: Get tough.  I had to enlist my husband’s help with this.  We had sorted toys before but kept ALL the tractors, because Adam loves tractors!  But this time, we had to be more discriminatory.  Bart went through and decided which tractors were worth keeping and which weren’t, and we were able to get rid of a ton.
Involving your children with this sounds nice, but it just hasn’t worked for us.  Maybe Adam is still too young, maybe he’s too selfish, or maybe we haven’t done a good enough job modeling this for him, but he has no interest in giving his toys to other kids.  We’ve had much better luck just doing it when he’s not around.  He has missed some of the toys and asked for them, but we just tell him that they’re lost and suggested something else to take its place.

imageProblem: Clothing
We get a LOT of hand-me-downs for our boys, thanks to our amazing family.  But at times, that means that the drawers and closets are stuffed TOO full.
And, since I’ve had two boys in 3 years, I have clothing in an array of sizes.  I probably have 6 or 8 different sizes of blue jeans, not to mention the maternity clothes I’ve accumulated.
Solution: Simplify.  For the boys, I tend to get rid of (or pass on to the next little one) any clothes that are hard to match.  Pants with stripes down the side are harder to match than blue jeans or solid colored “soft pants.”  So, they get the boot.  Maybe it’s boring, but I love being able to grab a solid colored shirt and solid colored pants for my boys when we have busy mornings and call it good.
Last summer, I threw away most of Adam’s socks and bought two packs of identical white socks, and one pack of colored “church” socks.  It has made our lives so much easier.  I no longer have to lay out an array of socks in order to find matches.
For my own clothes, it’s a little trickier.  So tricky, in fact, that I haven’t really figured out what to do.  I never know what’s going to fit me on any given morning, so I want to keep an array of sizes handy.  Anyone have any tips for me?

Do you have a category of “stuff” that is just out of control?  Is it the amount of stuff that is keeping you from loving your little house?  Share your problems and solutions with Squaw Creek on Facebook.

*This post is a part of the Love Your Little House series here at Squaw Creek.  If you have a Little House, please grab a button and share the love!
On the Banks of Squaw Creek

Shared at: Serenity Now

Would you like to comment?

  1. It's so hard to get rid of the sentimental stuff, but like you said, sometimes it takes up too much space. We are getting ready to embark on a BIG decluttering of our house (to get it ready to put on the market). It seems so overwhelming to think about, but it must be done!

  2. This is sooo me! I LOVE antiques, so my new goal this last year was that if I boought an antique it MUST have a purpose in my home. That alone has helped. It must function not just look good. I have begun, last year as well, to only get and start projects I have a need for, i.e a bed-side tabel for the guest room. If I want something different or see something I like better, I ahve to put the old item immediately on the local on-line garage sale, this is working quite well. Now if I can just do better at purging the sentimental goods....sigh. Thanks for your encouragement!

    1. I've had to enact a similar rule - It has to have a purpose, or at least I have to know where I'm going to put it.

  3. My Mom took the name plates off of the front of my 4-h trophies and hot glued them to a wall plaque and she donate the trophies to a local 4-h to be replated.

    1. That is a GREAT idea! We should definitely do that!

  4. Ok, we are complete opposites. Next time you want to get rid of stuff, call me. I love it! It gives me a high to donate, throw out, etc. Great job, I'm loving this series! :)

  5. I have to agree on the toy problem! I keep telling myself that I need to go through and get rid of them, but I think the same things. Oh...he used to play with this all the time. It got buried and forgotten. I'll put it on top so he plays with it again...and the problem continues. The kiddos are getting ready to "spring break" with grandma...sounds like a good time to declutter :)

    1. I agree - get rid of stuff and I bet they won't even notice! I took more than half the toys down to the basement a couple of weeks ago and Adam didn't notice!

  6. Use colored paperclips to designate sizes on your clothes!!

  7. When I dejunked last month, I did AWESOME... in all of the areas that I did. My craft/project closet didn't get touched and it's a little out of control. And for some reason, I could never bring myself to dejunk the laundry room. Random! But it now is also out of control...

    LOVE your tips for getting rid of things. As far as maternity and various sized clothes go, I love Space Bags. So long as you can put them somewhere that they won't be at risk of a puncture, they are AWESOME. We store most of ours in our unused luggage or plastic totes.

  8. I'm in the middle of a whole-house purge. It's been hard to do, but I feel so much better about my house! I do have a hard time with all of the above areas, but progress is good!

    I'm really enjoying this series, Katie! All the things you've blogged about are the things I find myself attracted to in magazines, Pinterest, and other blogs. Storage, streamlining, creative ways to organize. Thanks for sharing all of this!