Looking for de-cluttering advice

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We have lots of books and files that need to be organised, too much furniture (old, authentic and inherited pieces), which we cannot really get rid of. I feel as if I will go going mad soon. Very soon.

  13 answers
  • Tinyshoes Tinyshoes on Mar 25, 2018
    Go through books and let family and friends see them... call library to see if you can donate or Goodwill, Salvation Army or local ministries. Do the same with furniture. Have you had a yard sale..sometimes you will be surprised at the money you can make. Spring is certainly around the corner and this is the time to house clean...hope it works out for you!
  • Rose Broadway Rose Broadway on Mar 25, 2018
    Designate a certain area: a room, basement, garage or yard. Then start going through all your books, put the ones you no longer want in the designated area (known as the DA). Next pull out all decor, that you don't want goes into DA. Do the same with furniture and anything else that's cluttering your home. Have a tag sale or a garage sale. What's left you can give to people, donate to organizations or take to the land fill. You will feel so much lighter after all is done, and I found out personally that you do not miss anything that's gone!
  • Christel Christel on Mar 25, 2018
    First, remove "feelings & memories" associated with furniture and anything given to you. The question is, do you LIKE it in your home? It doesn't matter who gave it to you or if it was their prized possession. If YOU don't like it, give it a home with someone who will love it as much as the previous owner. DON'T FEEL BAD that you don't care for the item. Being given something does not obligate you to keep it. Again, the best thing you can do it sell or give it to someone who will appreciate it. :)

    Also, when trying to declutter, don't try to tackle it all at once. Take it slow or it's overwhelming and you'll walk away. Take ONE stack of paperwork at a time. Enjoy your decluttered home! :)
  • Dfm Dfm on Mar 25, 2018
    Are the books sentimental? Occasionally you can find an electronic version. Freebookspot has altered its policy you can open any book and read it online. Talk to a tax person about what and when to toss regaurding leagal papers. How many files? Do you have a file chest, or big filing cabinet? the chest is a smaller file carrier..portable. Sort the paper by type, label folder, put in chest. You insurance cards should be kept with you, on you. Up date your will if is been a few years. The furniture is there a family member who would cherish certain pieces?


  • Linda Linda on Mar 25, 2018
    If we let go if things that no longer suit us we can attract new things that are needed in the present. It might be helpful to remind yourself that an item you have outgrown may be perfect for someone else. Many sites exist to sell or give household items, ie letgo.com. The site nextdoor.com has a free and for sale section. You can offer items as curb alerts as well. Books are a tough one for me too. But I did recently donate two boxes of books which had not been touched in years. Your local library likely accepts book donations. Good luck embracing changes
  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Mar 25, 2018
    If you have a room, maybe in the basement that you don't use, take some of the furniture down there. You can change out pieces once in a while so that you can use the other pieces when you feel like a change. Put up some shelves in the basement, go through all your papers and organize them and get rid of what you don't need. Get some water proof boxes and store the papers you need to keep in the boxes on the shelves. make sure you label each one as to what is in them. You could also use filing cabinets, I usually see them at Salvation Army pretty cheap. Keep the most important papers in one box and put it where it is assessable in case you need to leave the house very quickly in case of an emergency.
  • Dfm Dfm on Mar 25, 2018
    Pick the furnature pieces you really want to keep. Hold a for family only auction aunts cousins, kids, uncles...anyone you consider family. The pieces will still be in family hands, spend the proceeds on thanksgiving diner for all..or other holiday.
  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Mar 25, 2018
    I can relate to furniture. Can you at least paint it so that it is less of a hassle to look at it everyday? Then it will look new and fresh to you and if it's old it's probably dark and you can lighten it up to look modern. I have a husband that won't let me paint furniture yet won't get rid of it and really I only hate two things because they are useless but came from his grandmother. I resent those pieces so much so I threw a table cloth on it and the hutch is in the corner so it's not in my eyesight. It's harder when they are antiques because it seems like a sin to paint and I normally would not suggest it but I don't want you going mad 😊.
  • Jean Thompson Jean Thompson on Mar 25, 2018
    I live near Cleveland Ohio, Basements are ok for Storage but if its Damp or unheated I wouldn't store anything down there... I lost a whole set of Foxfire Books that got mildewed and Ruined because I put them in the Basement. the Same for Furniture.. I would safely say that anything like old bill statements for credit Cards, Bank Statements, utilities can be shredded.. But do keep any thing that has to do with your house mortgage, repairs, upkeep/ maintenance, insurance, policies etc you keep for 7 to 10 years... or important health insurance or Personal Health records/ information, or treatments etc keep for at least 5 years.. may some valuable School papers of your children can be stored in plastic boxes with lids... Books can be donated to Libraries for their Sales, Large Print ones sometimes Nursing or Assisted living Homes will take for their patients or Residents.. Yard Sales - Books only sell for 10 cents to 50 Cents apiece.. or give To Salvation Army or Hospital Thrift shops.. for their Fund Raising.. Make sure you label each box on Lid and on one of the ends and put date on there so you know when it was packed.. As for Furniture if its a Family antique if you don't want it then ask other Family members or Close Friends if they would want it.. other wise Donate Good condition furniture to Habitat for Humanity or to Hospice resale shops... there are a couple near Cleveland Ohio..
  • Reb32999688 Reb32999688 on Mar 25, 2018
    I feel your dilemma First off you're going to seriously have to reconsider what you REALLY have to have We have recently had a major downsizing Kitchen Clothes Furniture Office supplies and documents Books You get the picture 😁Local charities Library and consignment stores all benefitted from our decades of stuff It was very freeing While money can't flow in to a stuffed wallet It's hard for great things to flow into a stuffed house good luck
  • Mary Mary on Mar 25, 2018
    I can relate!! We have my mom’s Stuff, my mil’s stuff and our own stuff. I am working on exactly the same problem.

    All or some of these suggestions may work for you. First, do you have children to hand down to now or later? If now, out it goes. Second, do you have any items that could be considered duplicates, such as two dining room tables. If so, could you part with one of them? Third, if possible, put enough of the items into long term storage to prevent madness. :-)

    As for the books, do you really, really need each and every one? Consider each one separately and organize them by subject or use (reference, pleasure, etc.) can at least some of them be put in a closet out of sight? Files also need to be reviewed. Can you scan any of them and store them digitally?

    Hope that helps.
  • Jana Jana on Mar 25, 2018
    I think there are many in your situation - I am there. With the old furniture I let family know it was there, but that I was not going to be keeping it. I then gave a date that they needed to come look, take or make arrangements for what they wanted. At that date, I put the furniture still left on Craigs list and what didnt’ sell I donated.
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 03, 2021

    Hello there,

    Don't panic. I also have the same problem and am working on it as of the beginning of the year! Make a list of all the things you might be prepared to sell and check out the similar on sites such as of t eBay. Ask a dealer to come around and give you a valuation so you know there value and if it comes to it sell one or two. Pack your books up in Polythene storage boxes and label. Put files into boxes too. ( You can go through them at leisure another time) . It is very important to really consider not only the emotional side of items, but also whether you can really live without it! You really need to Like or should I say LOVE the item you have inherited to live with them long term. If the item does not give you joy then do not hold on to it as it will bring you down! Far better to give or sell it to someone who will cherish it and buy yourself something your really "Need" or do "Love"

    and remember the person that gave you the item warmly when you use it.

    Hope that helps a bit!