I’ve been a mum for over ten years now, and the whole time I’ve being trying to fight my internal urge to hoard everything we own. I think as a parent, you suddenly gain an urge to hang on to absolutely everything in the house so you’re prepared for a ‘just-in-case’ scenario that never comes around.
I’ve been guilty of hoarding things for years. Clothes, toys, books – you name it! I’ve finally reached a point where my house is bursting at the seams and I’ve had to think up a way to stop hoarding.
I’m in the process of de-cluttering belongings I’ve stashed over the past few years, but I’ve also figured out a system to stop myself from adding to the family’s collection of miscellaneous ‘just-in-case’ possessions.
Never Hoard Again: De-Cluttering Hacks for Families
These are the rules I’ve set myself to ensure I never keep anything useless again. It’s really helped my streamline my storage, and so far I’ve managed to get rid of things I no longer need and replace them with things I’ll actually use.
Clothes come first on the ‘never hoard again’ list because they’re the biggest offender. To be fair, it’s not the clothes’ fault, just the people who own them. Clothes hoarding starts in pregnancy, during a period where nothing fits so you convince yourself that you even need to keep some stuff that never fit you for when you lose the baby weight. Beware! This is gateway hoarding.
Next thing you know, you’ve kept every single thing you’ve bought for you and the baby for the past 5 years and there’s no room to store anything that actually fits.
You need to get rid of these clothes. You need to get rid of them and replace them. Fair enough, you might not want to part with baby clothes in case you have another, but anything you own that you can’t quite squeeze into should be sent to charity. Beautiful clothes deserve to be warn. Raggy old clothes should be binned. I threw away 5 pairs of disintegrating leggings the other day and it was the most freeing thing I’ve done this year,
Say goodbye to anything you don’t wear, and replace it with something you will. A capsule wardrobe is a great thing to aim for if you’re hoping for clutter-free living. Buy a few great quality pieces to mix and match and don’t buy more than you need. OD’s sell designer clothing for men, women and children, so you could easily kit your whole family out with capsule wardrobes to help prevent all future hoarding!
I’m aware coats count as clothes, but they get a category of their own because become really easy to hoard when you’ve got kids. Winter coats are generally pretty expensive, whether you buy designer or not. I tend to hang on to my children’s winter coats because if you’re wise with your choice you’ll be able to store the coat and pass it on to the next child. Good quality coats stay looking new and immaculate for quite some time.
Parajumpers make great quality coats (and other things) that are gorgeous and timeless. I’d suggest paying a little bit more for a winter coat that will last you several winters. In the past I’ve made the mistake of opting for a cheapish coat, only to find it’s not so warm and I’ve had to splash out on other coats anyway.
I usually end up with several different coats, which is no good for my bank balance or my de-cluttering mission. If you can, get rid of all your useless coats that don’t do their job and replace them with a single, high quality coat.
Nobody needs a bald Barbie with no legs, yet still, she gets stored with all the others and put in the attic ‘just in case’ you have another girl. Streamlining indoor toys is a never ending job. Kids gain toys on an almost daily basis. They get toys with the meals out you buy them, toys in magazines, toys in surprise eggs they guilt you into purchasing. Kids acquire toys at every turn.
Indoor toys seem to breed, so you really need to be on the ball. If you’ve got a board game that’s had pieces missing for more than 6 months, you need to part with it. Same applies for jigsaws or any other sets with crucial bits missing.
If it breaks, bin it. If they never play with it (and never have), donate it. If they have 15 identical piece of tat from various meals and lucky dips, get rid of all but one. Be ruthless, or plastic bric-a-brac will slowly take over your life and swallow your home.
Outdoor toys are a different beast altogether. These types of toys tend to last longer so you buy fewer of them, but they are still hoardable if you’re not careful. You’ll find that your shed rapidly fills up with 16 plastic buckets and no corresponding spades, cracked frisbees, mouldy paddling pools and frayed skipping ropes.
For some reason, garden toys get sorted through the least often. It could be an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ thing, or it could just be the same reason as we hoard everything else – the fear we might need it once it’s gone. I can assure you that after making lots of effort to reduce my clutter I have never once regretted throwing away a broken frisbee.
Pin this post now to ensure you never hoard again!