Home Forums Welcome Hello! Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

This topic contains 63 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  Linada 6 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #159117

    Coedy
    Member

    Hi,
    I have never decluttered my room (still live with parents), and have 24years worth of stuff in there.
    I have visited various blogs and sites looking for tips on how to get started…and today was the day!!

    I thought I would do something a little different and instead of saying why I wanted to declutter, I thought I would show why with a video tour of my room pointing out all my shameful clutter ridden corners.

    http://declutterchallenge.blogspot.com/2011/02/day-1-room-tour-and-plans.html

    I am just after any tips really, either on blogging or on decluttering, where I should start, etc.

    Looking forward to some input! I plan on updating the blog daily, or every two days if its a busy week.

    Thanks,
    Pete/Coedy

  • #180237

    minimalmaya
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Ay! I feel your pain. Having a lot of stuff is bad, but on top of it such a small space must feel really cramped.
    From the first glance, I think you could free a lot of space if you would bunk your bed up on some bricks and use proper underbed storage drawers that utilize all the space. Then, there are some threads in the forum that deal with DVDs – as their resale value is probably very low, organizing them in ring binders would free almost the whole black shelf I saw.
    However I wouldn’ invest too much in storage bins or new furniture – if you keep on reading the forum and uncluttering you might come to the conclusion that you don’t need a lot of your items anyway.

    best
    Maya

  • #180238

    Another Deb
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    What a delicious challenge! We’re with you, Pete!
    I lived in an attic room with slanted ceilings for years, so I know you are crowded!

    The first place I would begin would be those things you say are “going”. Your car speaker, the old TV, skateboard, old car parts, the penguin. Also: Get rid of your old university papers. OUT, today!

    Then, you really need to get that large pit behind your Ikea “closet” opened up. That is great space! I can’t see how the Ikea units are convenient for storage at all. No wonder you don’t want to put stuff away. Take all the clothes out and purge what you don’t wear.

    Although I typed most of this before I noticed your floor plan under your video, I am making the suggestions as optional ideas. I would hang a closet rod on the tallest side of the pit (Left wall behind the staircase side) for your clothes. The ceiling is not tall enough to do a double rod above and below, so either hang the rod low and add shelves above, or hang the rod high and put your Ikea storage units below. If you hate looking at it, hang a curtain across the whole area.

    This leaves the right hand side of that pit bare. Place a strip of pegs along the knee wall and use them to hang your photo equipment, tripods, cables, spare things from the opposite corner you got on e-bay (sorry, couldn’t make out the item name)

    Purge those DVDs, then put in some storage that fits the size of the DVD boxes that remain. I have a tiny closet that holds hundreds of CD or DVDs because of the shallow shelving I bought <http://www.technooutlet.com/at081.html?mr:referralID=cf3f5cc6-3e0a-11e0-a86a-001b2166c2c0&#062;

    I believe these would fit against the wall on the other side of your stairwell.

    Get rid of the table on the corner to the left of your desk. Put the bookshelf there and use it to house the boxes you have stored under your bed. Remove the stuff from under the bed and the things behind the knee wall next to your bed and dump them. Looks like these things are not critical to your current lifestyle.

    The drawer unit under your desk is in a place you can’t access. Place it in the dormer cove and use it for the electronics such as the old XBox and cables.

    Let us know how you’re doing.

  • #180243

    Coedy
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Thanks both! =D

    Minimalmaya –
    I plan on actually get some slim line see through boxes to hold my bed sheets etc so that they can slide under my bed. I would like to try and avoid raising it up if I can because I occasionally do bash my head in the evenings/mornings on the slanty ceiling!
    I would like to keep my DVD’s really.. I know they are ‘clutter’ but my social life revolves around going out with mates to watch a dvd or back to mine for a dvd (especially now that Ive grown bored of going out drinking!) so my plan is to actually build in some shelves behind a fake wall with the door in it. That should in theory hide the messyness of loads of different coloured DVD boxes stuffed in the corner while I will still be able to just grab one at a moments notice before heading around my mates. (I will probably get rid of a few of the..not best.. films though!)

    I already know I don’t really need most of my items =D, I plan to remove around half of the items in my bedroom but am open to keep removing stuff until I no longer feel claustrophobic!
    As far as I can tell there are only about 40-60 items I actually use each month! (excluding my DVDs but including my camera equipment) so there is plenty of scope for me to remove stuff I don’t need.
    Thanks again for the suggestions and be sure to keep them coming! =)

    Another Deb-
    Well I have emptied out my bedside cabinet so it will be easier to move about as needed. Next up I plan on sorting out under the bed. After that it is the dreaded corner behind my ‘Wardrobe’. I will be leaving the car part corner until last though, for all I know I will find more spares elsewhere in the bedroom, then I can put them with the others and take a long hard look at what spares I will need and what I picked up ‘just in case’.

    I plan on getting rid of almost all of my clothes if I am honest. I went through a skateboarding phase so as a result 90% of my clothes are big and baggy (I weigh 10stone or 140lbs so look stupid in those clothes.) my idea is to use the situation to my advantage, and ask one of my mates who is a girl ive liked for some time to come shopping with me to guide me through finding ‘grown up clothes’. =D

    My main problem with hanging stuff on the walls is they are plasterboard so couldnt really hold anything =( that is why I am going to make a nice chunky movable false wall, I hope to have a clothes rail on the back of that. with deep tall book shelves along the knee high wall for my teeshirts and jeans. Then I can walk/shuffle about in the tallest part then.
    I will also steal your idea of storing my camera gear down there though! Didnt think of that!

    I have had a look more closely at my drawer unit under my desk and it is actually on rollers. So it is now right at the front of the desk. I am fighting the temptation to sort through it now!

    I would like to keep the Dormer window clear so that I can open the blind more often, the fact that entire corner of my room is always so dark (hence the lamp on in the video) could add to the claustrophobia. So being able to get some more natural light into the room could only be a good thing =)

    I am glad to see how welcoming people are! was worried for a bit that everyone would be so busy keeping their houses tidy that there wouldn’t be enough time to help out me and my one single room! =p

    I plan to do another video once under my bed and a few other parts are decluttered. But in the mean time I will post in this thread every so often and will keep the blog going! =)

    Thanks for the tips again both!

    Keep them coming peeps! =D

  • #180245

    Another Deb
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Cool stuff, Pete! You are well on your way and I was anxious to hear about some progress. Can’t wait for the pics!

    Plaster walls are a pain. Are you going to paint at all? That can be a great motivator to clean it all out! I see the problem with the dark room as well. You can hang/ lean your mirror on an opposite wall to reflect the light.

    I have a similar rolling cabinet as the one under your desk. It can be a handy extra surface . I brought it forward, flush with the desk and use it constantly for office supplies.

  • #180253

    Coedy
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Yeah it is painted at the moment, everything is cream except for the wall by my bed which is chocolate brown. =D (although some bits need a touch up so will do that the same time)

    I am trying to talk my parents into letting me change my carpet while everything is being thrown away (less stuff to move means hopefully less reason to say no). Trouble is I want either light cream carpet, cord carpet or fake wood flooring. but that may be loud and echo-y bad when you consider my parents room is beneath mine and I go to bed a good few hours after them…

    I don’t really use office supplies, so Dont know what can go in there really, unless I use one drawer for my Xbox games and controllers =)

    Here is a quick and dirty knock up of what I plan on doing as a new wardrobe area.
    http://i55.tinypic.com/14v3gw5.jpg
    The main wall section and the storage bins will have rollers on for me to slide the entire section out so I can go in and get at the clothes. hope that makes sense… I’ll add these sketches to my blog tomorrow after work, I should really go to bed now though, its 2:30am here and I have work tomorrow until 9pm! eep!

  • #180263

    Another Deb
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Wow, this is a tiny space! I looked at your video again and was going throw out a few other ideas:

    Have you tried turning your bed 90 degrees? It might utilize that long wall better while making the space between the desk and the bed less cramped. You could place the bed up by the radiator side in order to get to that storage space, then move it in front of the storage space door to hide it. (Don’t store stuff in there after you move the bed to the outside wall)

    Also, I like the idea in your plan to build a bookcase or shelves in that nook by the radiator. If it is possible, you might make the shelves deep enough so that you can extend that unit all the way over the radiator. Then the shelves in the nook can be deeper and there can be shallow shelves over the area where the radiator is. I’m not describing it well. Each shelf would be shaped like an L, with the part in the nook wider than the long part over the radiator.

    Have you tried putting your desk into the nook by the stairwell on the left? I don’t think it would fit, but stranger things have worked out for me. And yes, I would put the gaming stuff in that cabinet on wheels.

    Also, re the inaccessible operation of the window blinds. Is it possible to hang them upside-down so you can operate the blinds from the high end? They make blinds that rise from either end.

    If you make a rolling wall, do you have space to roll it? I really like your idea of a storage unit on the knee wall so you to can get at the stuff in the dreaded pit.

    My closet has lots of shelves for jeans, etc, but if you pile clothing more than 3-4 high, they really tend to get messy when you pull from the bottom. Try it for awhile and adjust the shelves if you need to. Or, you could put bins in the storage unit for easy pull-out access and then lay folded or rolled shirts and jeans in them.

    A lightweight spring-tension shower curtain rod might just fit into the back wall of the closet nook for the few things you have hanging. It could fill a narrow spot between your new shelf and the taller wall.

    I put spare bedding and pillows in fabric cases that can be used to lounge around on like oversized pillows.

  • #180296

    JuliaJayne
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    I like your video.

    My advice would be to get everything that you don’t intend to keep out of your room before organizing or buying anything. Approach it by sorting through like items first: car parts one day, clothing another, etc. Seeing the things you keep with open spaces around them instead of clutter can be very inspiring.

    BTW, those of us who are mostly decluttered don’t have to spend a lot of time tidying up 😉

  • #180305

    Irulan
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Pete, you mentioned on your blog that you’re asthmatic and frequently have respiratory illness. Have you had your room checked for mold? The carpet issue also feeds into respiratory problems because carpet holds onto dust. If your parents are okay with it, there are good self-install alternatives available at home stores.

    Regarding the shelves you’re going to build, please make sure that they end at least a couple of inches/cm away from the heater for fire safety. It can be tempting to use all of the available space, but you don’t want anything wood or anything that can melt to touch the heater.

    I like the ideas above about installing a clothing rod and open shelving. You can take a look online at retailers that specialize in college dorm organization for ideas of what to put in some of those spaces, as well.

  • #180307

    lottielot
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    cork is a good sound insulator, would make excellent flooring for both you and your parents 🙂 Cheap as well, and quite warm compared with other alternatives. Plus it’s a renewable resource, check out the link: http://www.corkfloor.co.uk/
    I love your plan of asking the girl you like to help you shop for clothes, I’m sure a better-looking room would impress her 🙂

  • #180326

    chacha1
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    +1 on cork flooring. It can be a little tricky to install, but a good choice if you have respiratory problems. AND you can install it over sound-insulating underlayments like WhisperWalk or QuietWalk (US brand names). Anything that cuts down on the wheezes is a good thing.

    Also a fan of your clothes-shopping plans. Very clever!

  • #180338

    Coedy
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Wow this seems to have taken off a bit more overnight!!
    Just finished work and Im done for tonight, On the plus side i have the day off tomorrow to continue decluttering =)

    Another Deb-
    The only problem with spinning my bed is that it would be under my large skylight then, This actually drips in the winter (my room gets to 3degrees C in the winter, and my radiator means the condensation forms on the skylight, rolls down to the lower edge and drips off). I plan on trying to sort out this issue when I address other little problems, and when it’s fixed I will definately move my bed that way! good idea!

    My desk doesn’t fit in the nook area’s =( I have tried, when I had a smaller desk it fitted but I got a lot of glare on the screen from my large skylight so will probably keep my desk where it is.

    The Blinds idea is amazing! I am going to steal that idea right now! its written down and ready for when I can get to it. In fact I may use my day off tomorrow to tidy out the dormer window area so I can get to the blind and flip it around. Thanks! So simple! (just have to hope that it will physically fit upside down now..)

    JuliaJayne-
    I am aware of some mould on my skylights, it isn’t proper mould though, it is just where dust has settled and taken route by the looks of it. I usually wipe it all away with anti-fungal every spring and then hoover the area, the problem doesn’t seem to come back until the Winter then.

    I forgot to point out in the video that the radiator by the wall is actually on wheels, when it is on I roll it into the middle of the room (it seems to be more efficient then) I just place it under my canvas for storage. Actually once it is clear it could probably go where I intend to put the shelves (under it) as it looks there is enough room there.

    Lottielot + Chacha1 –
    Thanks! I will definitely look at that. Any further information on the sound insulating underlay? sounds a good idea!

    My argument with the parents is that the eaves of the roof are open (in the crawlspace) so a draft comes up between the paneling of my floor (under the carpet). I would like to rise up the carpet, seal up the joins on my floor, fit under felt, then use my existing carpet as a pattern to cut the new carpet (could cut it in the garden then to make fitting the new carpet into the room easier).
    They didn’t seem too keen on my idea though, mainly because I can not easily remove any of my furniture because of my stupid stairs =( grrr..

    Also the clothes shopping plan, Im glad it was so happily received, I was worried at first it may seem underhanded… =p

  • #180350

    JuliaJayne
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Coedy – I was making a little joke about tidying up was because of what you wrote in an earlier post:

    “was worried for a bit that everyone would be so busy keeping their houses tidy that there wouldn’t be enough time to help out me and my one single room! =p”

  • #180351

    Coedy
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    No problems, =) I did spot it lol, just forgot to pick up on it in my reply, Burnt out after work, sorry!

    Oops!!! Just re-read! sorry! The part aimed at you in my last reply was actually aimed at Irulan! Sorry for the confusion. I should really get to bed!

  • #180407

    Coedy
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Day 2 post is now up!
    http://declutterchallenge.blogspot.com/2011/02/day-2-drawers.html

    Does anyone know how to remove Yellowing from grey TV remotes? I think it is sun damage as bleach didn’t shift it?

    Im still not too happy with the drawers… =(
    But come the weekend I will give it another quick sort through in case there is anything I have missed…

  • #180410

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    It will take a few times to get things just right – don’t lose faith! I have been decluttering for two years now and am just starting to feel really satisfied. Each time you do a sweep of an area you will reevaluate what is left and will continue to find more things to get rid of!

  • #180412

    Zora
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    If you’re asthmatic, you should never have a carpet — unless it’s something you can pick up and wash frequently. The only way I can keep my asthma in check is cleanliness and tile floors.

    You do need to stop the drafts and muffle the sound of feet on the floor, but carpet isn’t the only solution.

  • #180415

    Coedy
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Thanks for the tips Zora.
    Weirdly my old room’s carpet never seemed to give me any problems (mind you the room was half the size), the carpet was more like a felt sort of material so didnt have a pile to it. The carpet in my room now seems to build up a static charge so actually seems to cling onto the dust more =(.

    I don’t think I would get on with tiles really… I am really looking at the cork flooring system though! Looks very good!
    If you have any other Asthma tips please feel free to post them =) I am just doing under my bed now and am horrified by how much dust there is under there…most of it seems to be hair!!! ew…

    Thanks for the pat on the back ‘Themusiclivez’, I feel a real sense of accomplishment already, I’ve been saying I would make a start for the past few months so to actually be at the start of making it all happen is really good! =D

    A sneaky update for you people here before I update my blog in an hour or so,
    It seems like almost all of the items under my bed will be going into the “give away/sell” pile! =D
    My ‘Holding box’ has now turned into my ‘Holding area’. Going to list some of the items I want to sell on Ebay tomorrow with no reserve, see if I can get anything for them. And will keep the rest ready for Saturdays trip to the Charity shop =)

  • #180416

    JuliaJayne
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    No problems, Pete. It happens to me too when I’m sleepy.

    I think you did a great job on the drawers, but I also agree that it can take a few passes sometimes to “see” the unwanted stuff.

    As far as the yellowing on the remote. A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is the best product to remove yellowing and stains from plastic. I wouldn’t use it unless you can separate the case from the electronics because of the way the eraser breaks down. You can find Mr. Clean Magic Erasers in stores by the household cleaners. Your mom might even have one.

  • #180422

    Zora
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Besides non-dust-catching flooring (need not be tile) and cleanliness, it’s important to put your mattress and pillows inside dust- and dust-mite-proof coverings. You can buy plastic mattress covers, then top them with mattress pads that you wash occasionally. Wash the pillow if you can (obviously NOT if it’s feather or down) and then buy a protective pillow cover that stops skin flakes, dust, and dust mites from migrating into the pillow. Wash the pillow covers frequently. Wash your bedding frequently.

    I haven’t had an asthma attack in years, not since I slept in a guest bed while visiting relatives. The mattress and pillows were full of dust, dust mites, and dust mite feces and I was soon gasping for air.

    If you spend a lot of time in the rest of the house and the rest of your house is full of stuff and things and dust, you’re still being exposed to allergens. If you live in a big city or next to a freeway, you’re still being exposed. BUT you can limit your exposure, and perhaps keep it at a level your immune system can handle.

    I’ll never forget visiting the house of a family with an asthmatic dad and a housekeeping-challenged stay-at-home mom. The house was filthy. The carpet was filthy. No wonder he kept ending up in the emergency room! I think she might have mended her ways if either of them had any clue as to the damage being done by their environment.

  • #180430

    Coedy
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    I already have the pillow covers, didn’t know you could wash them though? Mine are fiber sacks (effectively)and are going all strandy.. I will read the label tomorrow, if they are washable I’ll do that tomorrow when I change the sheets etc.

    I’ve never actually had an Asthma attack, and my blow tube tests come back quite good usually, I think it could be more of an allergy than full blown Asthma, the only times I really struggle with Asthma (tight chest) is in the damp or in nightclubs that use the dry ice machines. Other than that I just have this chesty cough all year.

    Thanks again for the tips! I will look at the mattress covers as well!

    Julia- My mum has the magic erasers! (well she used to..) I will go on a forage under the sink tomorrow! Thanks! =)

    In other news.. Blog Update, I am really proud of myself looking at that last image! not back for 2 days work!!!
    http://declutterchallenge.blogspot.com/2011/02/day-3-what-lives-under-bed.html

    Next plan of attack is the dormer window corner, but am going to take my time with that and make sure I do it properly. =)

  • #180432

    Zora
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Coedy, even if it’s just allergies, even if it’s not full-blown asthma (yet), limiting your exposure to dust mites is crucial. These sub-millimeter bugs eat the flakes of dead skin that humans continually shed; they live in house dust, carpets, upholstered furniture, and bedding. You shed flakes on the pillow, dust mites hoover them up, and deposit allergy-causing feces. The eensy-weensy bug poop will waft right through an ordinary pillowcase. That’s why you need to cordon off the pillows and mattress with dust-proof covers, and clean the covers frequently so that the bug poop doesn’t build up.

    Yeah, it’s icky.

  • #180435

    JuliaJayne
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Dust mites are icky.. freaks me out actually, but mold can be a major problem too.

  • #180437

    Zora
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    D’oh! You’re right, JuliaJayne … he’s said that there’s a problem with leakage from the window, which means that he might have mold in his room.

  • #180454

    bandicoot
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    another vote for cork.
    it’s warm, easy to clean, and it’s quiet underfoot.
    nowhere for dust mites to hang out.

    in your space, i’d do this:
    pull EVERYTHING out of the room.
    clean and paint the room.
    install the cork flooring.
    now decide what is going back into the room.
    be fussy and selective.
    keep only the best, keep only the current, keep only the stuff you really truly use.

    simplify your bed linen: we had a great thread on that recently.

    keep your cds/dvds without jewel cases, in a binder.

    look at a dvd rental service, perhaps?
    i live in a remote part of australia and i use bigpond.
    they deliver 10 dvds a month to my door, i share them with my parents, we post them back….no clutter.

    the hatch by the bed….i’d rip the door off and move the hinges to the other side.
    so you can at least half open it without moving your bed.

    the wardrobe area can be customised with shelving and hanging space…..it’s a decent-sized space.
    perhaps ELFA would be a good solution for you?
    it worked a treat at our place.
    expensive, yes, but it can travel with you and it is infinitely customisable.

    frankly, all the small-sized storage thingies you have around your room, would make me crazy, lol.
    they all take up so much room and they look….cluttery.
    i’d take a really hard look at the stuff lurking in those little drawers and boxes, and assess what TRULY is needed to make my life function.
    then i’d get a single larger decent piece of furniture to house everything in. a chest of drawers/ a file cabinet/ an IKEA shelving system with nice boxes…..whatever you like.
    basically, if it doesn’t fit in the new storage, then it doesn’t get to stay.
    i think i’d go with an IKEA expedit unit and get some boxes.
    i was going to suggest stiff fabric baskets, but with asthma you need everything to be washable and wipeable.
    i’d even avoid wicker in that case.
    perhaps some wood ply boxes painted to order would do the trick, and look fabulous, and they hold an astonishing quantity of stuff. and you could go full-nerd and label the boxes. (my husband laughs when i do this, but we know where most things live nowadays).

    if living in an aesthetically pleasing room is appealing to you, then i’d suggest that you pick a trio of colours and work your paint/linen/shelving choices around those. avoid anything too trendy, because it will look horribly dated in about a minute.
    perhaps enlist the help of the girl you mentioned?
    or have a look through the apartment therapy blog for more ideas every single day than i can possibly keep track of.

    also…decluttering is a work in progress.
    we human beings just love to accumulate stuff and it takes stern discipline and constant vigilance to keep it down to a dull roar.
    and eventually, it becomes habit.

    you are off to a wonderful start, anyway!

  • #180466

    minimalmaya
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Hi Untidy Pete (again)

    It’s not really the case that we unclutters all have huge tidy houses, haha – as a matter of fact I lived in a 172sq ft studio for three years. My bathroom was 10 sq ft, the kitchen 20. I just love helping others to unclutter.

    I would also vote for a non carpet floor, as you really could have a dust mite allergy. I don’t know about the cork system myself, but I installed a fake wood floor in my tiny studio. Instant visual declutter upgrade! It just looks (and is) so much cleaner without carpet. Basically you just need to buy the panels, and some thin foamy foil to layer that goes under the fake wood. I left the carpet that was there underneath (because it was a rental, and I wasn’t sure whether I had to restore the original state later). A carpenter told me that unless the carpet is ridiculously fluffy it is actually a good idea to leave it underneath, because it absorbs the noise. The other things you need are a saw (to rent at construction market) to shorten the panels, a metal band to make the transition into the hallway, and some fake wood borders that are nailed around the walls of your room to make a finish for the floor.
    Ugh. Does anyone else realize english is not my first language?
    Also of course, if your DVD collection is a priority for you it deserves its spot in your room of course!
    Please update blog for progress frequently.

    Maya

  • #180467

    JuliaJayne
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Maya, your English is great.

    Pete, there are cork floor squares available. You could lay the squares up to the bed, then move the bed onto the finished part of the floor, finish the rest and move the bed back. I’m not trying to talk you into a new floor, but it is an option.

  • #180470

    Sky
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    I have asthma and allergies so I know keeping the bedroom very clean is important. I spend nearly half my life in there so everything is washable, floors are hardwood and there are no dusty fru-fru items. I wash my sheets weekly, mattress pad, pillows and bedspread monthly. Dust, vacuum and mop at least weekly. It is a royal pain but it definitely improves my breathing and cuts down on medicine usage.

    Everything bandicoot said, as usual, is right on.

    You are doing a great job, Coedy!

  • #180471

    Coedy
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Hi everyone,

    Zora – I have told my mum to pick me up some anti dustmite sheet/pillow covers when she see’s some so fingers crossed I will get them soon. My current ones say ‘disposable’ on them so dont think it would be a good idea to put them in the washing machine =(
    Thanks for the tips again!

    Bandicoot- Funny you mention a filing cabinet actually, I recently decided I should invest in one of these (could have a drawer for my web design work, a drawer for photography work for clients and then another drawer for my own paperwork).
    I also really like your idea of making the hatch open the other way. Will do that when I come to emptying the crawlspace behind the bed.

    As far as redecorating goes I am considering painting everything white again, Hopefully it will make the room feel taller, I will keep the wall by my bed brown though, and hopefully could have wood floors to match the wall.

    Maya- I agree with Julia, your English is very good! (I couldn’t tell it wasn’t your first language anyway!)
    I will probably remove my carpet just in case really, to I can check for drafts and see if there is mould anywhere.

    Julia- I would love a hard floor (cork, wook, fake wood, whatever!). I even considered if I was to paint my room again ‘accidentally’ spilling some, then i would HAVE to replace the carpet! =D

    Trouble is I have just done some rough estimates.

    My room is approximately 21m/sq
    Cork floor boards seem to be around £25 per m/sq.
    Cheap super value fake wood I have seen as low as £12 per m/sq.

    so the price to do my room would be:
    £525 for the Cork!!! =O
    or £252 for the fake stuff!!!

    To put it into perspective I could buy a new engine for my classic Mini (which it does actually need soon) for £150… So spending almost double that so I may not cough as much is not realistic for me. Looks as though I will be sticking with what I have.. =/

  • #180472

    Coedy
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Whoops, missed you out there Sky, you must have replied while I was typing and doing very poor maths! =)

    Thanks, at the moment I change my sheets once a week, vacuum once a month (all the extra stairs and us having a heavy dyson makes it hard work getting up here with it, not to mention I keep banging it against the plasterboard walls on my staircase, oops) and each sheet change I leave the window open all day with my mattress/pillows propped against it (to try and air it out) it is then flipped over before refitting everything.

    Do people think a sweeper (something like this http://www.teleshop24.co.uk/tvshoppinguk/bilder/Haushaltsreiniger/9902899_swivel_sweepter_g2/swivel_sweeper_g2_ohne.jpg) would be of benefit to me? It is small enough to store in my room then so I can use it weekly if needs be.

  • #180477

    Zora
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Coedy, your health is much more important than a car engine.

    If you didn’t have a carpeted floor you wouldn’t have to drag a vacuum upstairs. You could use a broom, and keep it in your closet. You shouldn’t be using a vacuum in any case, because unless it’s an expensive anti-allergenic model, it puts dust into the air.

    You could use the fake wood if you covered the parts where you usually walk with throw rugs, and washed them weekly. That should cut down on the noise of feet on the floor. Removing shoes before you enter your room might also help. Live Japanese-style.

  • #180498

    Coedy
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Your right, it is more important than a car engine.
    But, if my engine (that is leaking a lot of oil and smokes a bit lately) lets go I will not be able to get to my job, which will mean no money. And I am strapped of cash enough as it is (I only earn £100 a month if I don’t have any websites or photography sessions booked that month).

    The only sort of middle ground I can think of is any money I get from selling my stuff on Ebay can go towards new flooring. But then I will have to wait until I sold all of my selling items before ordering.
    Then again it would give me a chance for a second declutter when I empty the room for the new floor?
    Also that way I wont be using the money towards buying more clutter. =)
    (Although I was going to use it to get some clothes that actually fitted me so I don’t look and feel like a tramp 24/7 =( )

    living Japanese style has come naturally =D the unwritten rule of the house when my mum got new carpets downstairs was “Shoes off as you come in”.

  • #180504

    lucy1965
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    @Coedy Do you know what’s under the carpet? If it’s floorboards, are they in good enough condition to live with for a bit while you save for better flooring?

    I’m joining Zora in urging you to do what you can to get the carpet out: my DH has a severe dust mite allergy and asthma, and his health improved considerably once we ripped the 40-year-old carpet out and vacuumed the hardwood floors.

  • #180506

    JuliaJayne
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Pete, how long do you plan to live where you are right now? If you won’t be there long, maybe it isn’t worth spending money to replace the flooring.

    The link to the sweeper didn’t work for me, but I’ll assume it’s a typical sweeper, which only picks up surface dirt. It isn’t effective at getting out the deep-down dust.

  • #180507

    Coedy
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    It’s just old rubbishy Plyboard/MDF panels I am afraid, It’s a loft conversion so those were/are just screwed down onto the floating floor supports.
    In some parts where the carpet has worn down a bit you can feel the screws so am guessing they are raised up a fair bit under the carpet =/

  • #180509

    lucy1965
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    @Coedy Oh, pants. 🙁

  • #180512

    bandicoot
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    i am ragingly anti-vinyl, but i think i’d prefer even vinyl to carpet, particularly in any sort if allergy situation.

  • #180514

    Coedy
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    May have found the answer to my problems!

    http://www.diy.com/diy/jsp/bq/nav.jsp?action=detail&fh_secondid=10937562&fh_reftheme=promo_215165852,seeall,//catalog01/en_GB/categories%3C{9372013}/categories%3C{9372028}/categories%3C{9372109}&fh_view_size=12&fh_location=//catalog01/en_GB/categories%3C{9372013}/categories%3C{9372028}/categories%3C{9372109}/specificationsProductType%3dlaminate_flooring&fh_eds=%C3%9F&fh_refview=lister&isSearch=false

    £3.81 per m/sq! And 4/5* reviews. Would cost around £80 for my room! =D
    (give or take a little extra, Also I would need the edging strip and underlay felt unless I use my carpet)

    As far as selling items on Ebay goes, what would people say is the best length of time to list for? Obviously longer will mean more people likely to see it, but at the same time it means more time for stuff to pile up in front of my door =/

    Also has anyone used the Ebay donation system? It’s safe yes? I am always edgy about posting on Ebay…

  • #180517

    Sky
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Also, Coedy, Swiffer wet mops are good on wood or laminate floors because they don’t stir up any dust as vacuums and brooms do. I have hardwood floors throughout my house, even in the bathrooms, because of my allergies and asthma.

    And it is small and can be stored most anywhere. If you run out of Swiffer pads a wet rag or wet paper towel works too and is cheaper.

  • #180518

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    May I suggest that you take some still photographs of each wall? If you use a wide angle lens, the images will look much better. That’s what professional photographers use for real estate sales listings. Also, if you prop up a meter stick against the wall before each photo, it will be easier for us to understand what will fit and what will not in the kneewall area below the sloped ceiling-walls. For example, the height required to hang a man’s dress shirt is about 1 meter.

    Here’s a good site on real estate photography:
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/interiors.htm

  • #180520

    Irulan
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Yay, Coedy! That flooring looks pretty cute. I have vinyl flooring in my kitchen and bathroom, and they’re so easy to clean with a rag and soap that I don’t even use a mop.

    I still think you should check your room for mold, though, especially if you are going to install flooring over the carpet. If you’ve already seen something that might be mold around the window and you’ve noticed leaks coming through the floor, then it’s worth checking out as black mold can make you very ill. Is your room itself or are the crawlspaces it attaches to damp at all? Does it smell musty?

    Congrats on making it to Day 3 of cleaning! You can try a hospital mask if the dust makes you cough. Good job on listing stuff for eBay – I’ve only bought from them so I don’t know how donation works, sorry.

  • #180530

    Coedy
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Sky, thanks. I’ll look into those!

    Mad scientist- I will get photos tomorrow evening hopefully if I have finished posting my stuff to Ebay. I dont really have a decent wide angle though, Only 18mm so I will try my best… Also I will have to try and find a meter stick lol.

    Irulan- I will be checking for mold once Ive cleared enough space to get under the carpet in various places. The floor isn’t leaking, its just a draft comes up through it in places from the eaves of the roof. And the window doesn’t leak, It’s just condensation, but the windows are where I Know I have mold….Actually that mold is black come to think of it.. =/ how bad is black mold..?
    The crawlspaces are damp (because like I said, its condensation thats triggering it) and the room doesn’t smell damp.

    I will definitely pick up a dust mask tomorrow, especially for when I attack the mold, just in case…

    I tried talking to my parents about my floor again and they said I can’t have solid floors, only carpet..
    Their main complaint is I don’t go to bed until 3 or 4am. and my parents go to bed at 11pm. At the moment they are able to hear me walking away from my PC and getting into bed, and that is with Carpet. So wood/vinyl/anything like that seems as though it is out.
    I would try and form a deal with them that I will also go to bed at 11, but in reality I know that will never happen. Also midnight until 3ish is the time I find it easiest to work (webdesign etc) because there are less noises/distractions, my room is cooler, etc etc etc.

    =(

  • #180532

    irishbell
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    black mold is quite dangerous to your health. use gloves and maybe a mask so you don’t breathe it in- to wash it with hot soapy water and follow with bleach. I”m not a huge bleach user- but in this case- don’t spare it. keep your window sills dry,so mold won’t grow again- you may have to wipe them every day in certain weather.

    as far as carpeted flooring-you could use some kind of low nap carpet tiles/squares.

    maybe a small dehumidifier would help to keep the dampness out.

  • #180534

    Irulan
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Irishbell’s right, it’s very dangerous. It’s probably worth having a mold removal specialist come in to evaluate if you’ve got visible mold in damp areas. Maybe your parents can spring for it considering your limited funds? The specialist would be able to check to whole house for mold problems.

    If you’ve got constant chronic respiratory problems and no real reason/diagnosis for it, then that’s a warning sign that mold is making you sick. You should mention to your doctor that you suspect you have mold in your house, because I think there are blood tests available for that.

    Too bad about the carpet thing- you’re right that it’s unlikely you’d be able to change your habits that much, especially if late night is your productive time. At least having less stuff will make it easier to vacuum and keep clean!

  • #180535

    Coedy
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Just did some googling as the mold is on the window above my bed and you lot were getting me worried…

    “-Non toxic black mold lives in non cellulose materials such as ceramic tiles, aluminum sink, plastics and glass.
    -Toxic black mold, which some scientists link to respiratory problems, rashes, infections and maybe even brain damage, tends to grow on cellulose based materiels such as cardboard, gypsum board, wood and other porous materials.”

    Because this is on the glass I am guessing It is the non dodgy version. that said though I will still be removing it because its ugly.. lol.

  • #180536

    Coedy
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Woops, forgot to ask, aren’t dehumidifiers noisy?
    I only have problems with condensation at night over winter (because my radiator has to be kept on) and I am a very light sleeper…

  • #180537

    Zora
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Coedy, would it be possible to move to some OTHER room in the house, one that wouldn’t damage your health? Is your parents’ bedroom the only other bedroom? Is there a study or a sewing room that could be used as a bedroom?

    If your parents care about you, surely they wouldn’t want you living in a room with black mold and dust mites.

    The best solution might be getting a better-paying job and moving out to your own dry, clean place, but I understand that, thanks to the depression, this might not be possible no matter how hard you try.

  • #180539

    Coedy
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    The only other room is the office, but that is a 7ft by 9ft box room… That’s where my room used to be until we got the loft conversion, I only had room for 1 single bed (which had to be cut down a bit) a wardrobe, and a chest of drawers.. And it got Soooooo hot in there! All the pipes for the radiators in the house seem to plumb in under the floor of that room.

    I’d rather see if I can get a carpet with no pile to it at all (just like cloth, if such a thing exists, to keep the parents quiet). Get some tidy underlay to stop the draft, and look at dehumidifiers.
    In fact my Nan may still have some laminate flooring up there left over from her house… I may steal it, make an area of laminate flooring in my room (on top of my carpet) and walk about on it from time to time in the night. Then the next day ask the parents if they heard anything. if not I can bring them up to my room and show them it will be quiet.
    If they do hear me and complain though then I will have to admit defeat! But hey! it will take hardly any effort and could work in my favor! =D

    As you say, I would love to move out, but all of the jobs linked to my Uni course wont hire you unless you have experience. So for the moment I am just keeping my head down in my little 4hours a week job, taking any web design and photography work that comes my way to build up a portfolio =(
    But like you say, since money is starting to become worthless and house prices are going crazy I doubt it will happen for some time =(
    (though I do keep a little money aside each month towards savings)

  • #180541

    bandicoot
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    how about the new flooring plus a rug, plus some behaviour modification in terms of silent moving about the room at 3am?
    some folks seem to drop their feet with a bang and some folks can glide about silently.
    it’s worth experimenting with.

  • #180546

    Coedy
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    I’ve got two rugs (if I got hardwood floor though I would get rid of one, only got two to try and cover up my blue carpet!).
    I am also pretty light on my feet. I only weigh about 140lbs so pretty easy for me to glide about!
    In fact lately I havnt even been touching the floor at bed time, I just swivel my office chair around and sit on my bed, then scrabble on the bed itself to get changed.

    Like I said though, I am totally going to try using the spare flooring tiles my nan has, and if they dont hear me for a week I will come clean and show them it will not be louder, in fact quieter.
    (I may also try and get to bed by 1am if I am not working on any projects for anyone)

    Maybe if I just accept the fact I should have a normal sleep pattern and force myself into one then they will see I really want this change to happen and give me the green light…
    After all, if I am in bed, asleep. While they are in bed, asleep. Then the floor isn’t going to make a noise is it! =)

  • #180551

    SunshineR
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Coedy: Hi. I’ve been reading this thread and I can empathize with how it is easier for you to breathe, think and sleep where it is cooler. I hope you can try getting rid of the carpeting. I got rid of a lot of mine and it surely made a difference with less red eyes, less coughing. I’m kind of a night owl, too….

  • #180563

    Coedy
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Hmm I spoke to my dad on his own at dinner time and he didn’t outright reject it. He didnt look supportive of the idea, then I explained I was going to use my carpet as underlay and he didnt seem as bothered.
    Then I said I only really want to do it after seeing how much dust was held under the bed by my carpet and he said “well yeah, its easier to clean hard wood floors”… maybe he will have a word with my mum about it! =D

    No real updates today, told my parents I would tidy up the house for them. I also got an email from Ebay this morning saying that the weekend is a free listing weekend =) so everything is on hold until tomorrow so I can donate the unwanted items and list the selling ones on ebay.
    Expect the next update on Monday, going to attack the dormer window area… I hate sorting through paperwork =(

  • #180567

    JuliaJayne
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    You’re working on cleaning up your room and tidying up the rest of the house for you parents. You are my dream child. lol

    My son, who will be 25 years old in April doesn’t care if his room is a disaster zone. It drives me crazy.

  • #180577

    Coedy
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Julia- I always do the washing up and hoovering for my parents while they are at work. Seeing as I only work 4hours a week it means if I don’t get any web design/photography jobs to do then I just mope about the house, makes you feel lazy and rubbish. So an hour or so a day slinging the hoover around and doing the dishes is the least I can do to keep my parents off my back. =p

    I am by no means a clean freak, I hate cleaning, but it is something to do! It also lets my OCD have some time to come out and play =)

  • #180609

    SunshineR
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Good luck with the Ebay and the window this weekend… I don’t like doing piles of papers or cleaning, either.

  • #181993

    Coedy
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    After being missing in action for some time (Blame having to go away and slight family difficulties in one shape or another) I am back! and wanting to get back on the horse! =)

    Tomorrow I plan on sorting through my car spares.
    Hopefully it will let me know exactly what I have (and can possibly fit some of it to get it out of the way). The other plus side would be if I can see I really don’t need something I can post it on the classic car forum the same day to get rid of it.
    Then on Wednesday I am going to attack my paper piles =( I am really not looking forward to it.

    I felt the need to write this post asking for tips based only on papers.
    http://declutterchallenge.blogspot.com/2011/03/ask-readers-episode-1.html
    Would love some input (either on here or on there, but on there I can easily remember to link to you if you also have a blog).

    My problem is I keep old bank statements “just in case” the same as mobile phone bills from 3+years ago…

    Anyway! hope to get some good tips to arm myself with ready to roll up my sleeves and set to it on Wednesday.

    Sorry for being away for so long by the way everybody =(

  • #182016

    bandicoot
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    i have a couple of tips.
    do you have an iphone?
    there is an inexpensive app called jotnot that i use ALL THE TIME.
    from within the app, you take a photo of the document (it takes crystal clear snaps of A4, i haven’t needed anything larger than that)….then you clip the edges of the thing to fit the corners of the document perfectly….then you save it as a jpeg or jpg or pdf or whatever…..then you email/fax/text it to whoever.
    i often send stuff to evernote via email when i need to keep a copy.
    evernote is a wonderful tool. and it’s free for the basic version….which has generous data allowances.

    regarding mobile phone bills and bank statements….GET RID OF THEM!
    unless you have a business, you simply do not need to keep that stuff hanging around.
    keep the last 2 or 3 months if you simply must, but trust me…..you will never ever need to pull out a 3 year old bank statement for ANYONE apart from the tax department. and only if you have a business.
    if you ever need a bank loan, the bank will have all this info on tap.
    that is their job.

    if you have a business, it is different story of course and you’ll need some file boxes to stash this stuff for 7 years.

    what other sorts of papers have you got?

  • #182018

    bandicoot
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    o and i wanted to talk about mould!
    i had pro cleaners come in and they looked at our very high ceiling and said we can clean that.
    i just assumed it was a bit of woodsmoke….but there was a little bit of mould mixed in there too.
    i am prone to asthmaticky breathing in the evenings from time to time, but since the ceiling was cleaned, i am breathing clearly all the time.
    i wouldn’t have believed it if i hadn’t experienced it.

  • #182075

    Coedy
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Thanks for the quick tips!
    I am afraid I am one of the people that apple users call a ‘Heathen’ I own an android phone =). Now that you mention it though I do actually have an app called “CamScanner” which sounds as though its the same!
    I never thought of that! =D

    I am in the UK and most of the guides I have come across are for people in the US which have a much more (seemingly complicated) tax system. Here in the UK tax is factored into the cost of goods so I don’t think I need to keep any receipts? (unless they are business related).

    Would love to hear for sure from UK people what is safe to shred and what isnt…

    I plan to get rid of all of my mobile phone bills (except the past 6 months as I am currently going through a cancellation and need to have proof I have paid everything in case anything goes wrong). And I suppose, like you said, I can get rid of bank statements…I usually check my account online or at an ATM anyway!

    I do have a expanding filofax I put half my papers in into the correct sections, but it now weighs around 2kg… hence me thinking about cutting it down!

    Other papers are just stuff like old email correspondances with hosting companies for my websites, nominet registration details, Google adsense vouchers, reciepts for large purchases (in case they break under warranty, although I imagine most of these have expired), Student loans information, Tips for graduates (useless information as its all 3years out of date, and I have only just finished!), Univesity notes, Car recipts (to put in my car project/service history folder) and random assortments of papers, doodles, notes…etc.

    My parents have a shredder which I will be using. Although part of me would like to burn them…partly because I am a pyromaniac, secondly because If I was paranoid enough to hold onto them for 9+years “just in case” then I imagine leaving them outside my house overnight for the recycling lorry to collect will have me on tender hooks!!

    I have scrubbed at the mold best I can with a sponge, but the heavens opened when I went to get a stiff brush and the bleach. trouble is with it being a skylight I cant open it in the rain so I am stuck until it brightens up near the end of the week =(

    Thanks for the tips though! (If you have a project blog, or a page on the forum for your project put a link here and I will link to it on Wednesday =) )

  • #182078

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Keep in mind that bleach only bleaches the mold and removes about 18% of it. Use a degreaser (you can find it in certain Lysol cleaners and Mr. Clean) if you’re going to remove it on your own.

    I work in insurance and received this information from a restoration company that we work with. The guy I deal with told me that you usually just end up bleaching the mold so it appears to disappear but it’s not really gone. This is why you’ll notice that mold comes back in the exact same spots. The degreaser works fabulously as I removed some mold this weekend using the Lysol one that I bought.

  • #182080

    irishbell
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    yes, clean then bleach. also- aim a fan up at the skylight after you’ve cleaned and bleached it, might help the drying a bit.

  • #182106

    Netleigh
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Coedy,
    UK advice, HMRC can want to look at your tax up to six years prior to the current tax year. So you do need to keep proof of your income and tax paid, P60s from employers and any other sources of income e.g. from property or shares or untaxed savings income.
    Probably none of this applies if you have been a student but if you do any casual work then get a job then you may need to claim back tax paid at the ’emergency rate’ when you start work before you are given your tax coding. Loads of info is on their website

  • #182236

    Coedy
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Thanks for the tips!
    Will get them added into the draft post asap!

    In the mean time everyone could have a look at this:
    http://declutterchallenge.blogspot.com/2011/03/car-bits.html

    I have been doing my paperwork today but have not finished it…I am about 3/4 of the way through it. (keeping everything within the last 6years, 6months of phone bills though)
    So I decided I had better upload the car parts post from the other day.
    Hope everyone is having a good few declutter days! =D

  • #182305

    Linada
    Member

    Decluttering 24years worth of stuff. Tips?

    Hi Coedy,

    just seen the video and it’s very inspiring. I am sharing a flat, so I need to fit most of my stuff into one room too. I’d have done one of my own stuff tonight, but I need to clear out my camera first. I am a horrendous digital pack rat too.

    Just wanted to chime in about the paperwork. Had to deal with the council and the jobcentre recently and they were happy to deal with printed online bank statements. It says on the HMRC website that they accept computer records for most things, but might be worth a phone call to check exactly what.

    I generally keep the last bill of closed accounts, to prove everything was paid. Present accounts get a few statements each. One thing to keep in mind when dealing with receipts is your future living arrangements. Should you have the misfortunate of having a roomie with bailiff worthy debts, your stuff could be gone too. Again, scanning should be sufficient while getting rid of the physical stuff. A scanner really is a worthy investment. Do you have a friend who could lend you one for a weekend maybe?

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