Moving your clutter to a different house to declutter before moving it back into your own house - bad idea?

  1. Absolutely do not do this. It will backfire spectacularly. Decluttering is a messy process, this is true. But it is better to just do your best with it and know it will improve eventually if you keep plugging away at it. Moving your hoard to a location that is not yours but a friend's is a fast way to lose friends, even if they think they'll be okay with it now before it happens. Also, moving the hoard moves it further from your immediate notice, which may lead to bad behaviours sneaking back in.

  2. This is a very bad idea. There's a term for this: it's called "churning" and is a classic hoarding behaviour where things go around and around and around and around... It's exhausting mentally and physically, a few things might actually get purged, but no real decluttering happens because so much energy went into shuffling things around in circles. In chronically hoarded homes during "clean-ups" items get churned from room to room, and despite lots of effort and time, little progress is actually made.

  3. I had no idea there was a term for this. I’ve spent the past 6 months decluttering, being pretty brutal and ridding myself of a LOT of stuff. I would say I’ve rid myself of 70% of the excess books, comics and clothes I owned but I’m guilty of churning. Still have a handful of stuff I have yet to shift, helped by the fact we have a larger than average home with spare rooms 😅

  4. I agree with all the other commenters here, new term to me too. Hopefully putting a name to it will help me sort out that corner of stuff I've been avoiding 😬

  5. I struggle with churning and I struggle with decision making. When it gets down to little bitty stuff, I’ve found it helps to cut down on subjective decisions like “usefulness” and “importance” and use an objective criteria, like what material it’s made of (wood, plastic, metal, etc). It naturally starts to make other groups, like all my scissors (metal) and all my pencils (wood) and then those sets of things get easier to make decisions about.

  6. i personally think that it’s a bad idea. because if I tried it, i’d end up with 2 full homes and one less friend.

  7. Exactly! Plus all the millions of car trips back and forth to the friend house and back?? That is a LOT of energy and time!! Might as well drop things off at the thrift store! Why put all that time, effort, and energy moving objects to a second house when you can deal with the items by sending them to the thrift store or trash as you're packing it all up?

  8. I'd honestly rent a dumpster and put everything I don't want in there. It's the quickest way. Otherwise you risk a huge delay decluttering from the other house. If you cannot take things directly to donate I say trash them.

  9. Instead of moving stuff into another house and loading and unloading into a car, just go through the stuff like you were going to put it into your car and put it into the dumpster. I guarantee that more of it need to go than you think. Maybe hire a company to help?

  10. I have to concur. The same “emergencies” that crop up every time prior attempts have occurred are going to crop up again, at the risk of leaving the friend with a mess.

  11. I think you’re subconsciously trying to delay throwing things away. You don’t need more space when what you’re doing is getting rid of things. You fill a trash bag and take it to the trash, thrift, or dump. That creates more space. So what is the purpose of moving everything when your aim is to get rid of it?

  12. Agreed. Donate or trash just five items every day. (Or whatever number is doable.) You’ll be making progress before you know it and, crucially, getting over the mental block.

  13. Is your friend ok with you moving your hoard into their home? They may have given you keys to the house, but does that mean you're free to do whatever you want to their house?

  14. I've thought about doing this by renting a small storage unit. But as someone else said, that may just delay even more. Can you move everything into your master bedroom, or biggest room & essentially do the same without lugging it to a friend's house?

  15. I emptied my childhood home two years ago. My dad is a massive hoarder, and I realised in the process of emptying that house that my late stepmother was as well. To an extent. Her stuff was neat. Dad's is not (adhd + almost zero executive functioning skills.) I filled two dumpsters, my own garage, endless trips to a second hand store to donate reasonable things, handing other things off to family and friends to deal with (with their consent), I burned van load after van load of paper. Put bigger piles than we were supposed to of items at the curb on garbage days. Left piles of still usable things at the curb with signs saying everything worked and was free. Posted things online for people to pick up. Filled his new townhouse with his "must-must-must haves", plus a large shipping container that is literally packed to the gills, with the promise we'd start unpacking and sorting those things as soon as possible. They took the container away from that house on March 5th, 2021. We pay $200 every month for it. Dad's never been to it, because I have never taken him to it, and I've never gone to it because emptying that house almost caused me a complete breakdown. This rant is all to say: JUST DEAL WITH YOUR SHIT, WHERE IT IS RIGHT NOW. To try to save space in the container, I even unpacked boxes my dad had asked to be packed up - things like empty (clean) pasta jars my mom had been saving. That's dumb. Don't do shit like that.

  16. Hot take would be that, yes, it is a BAD idea. The point of decluttering is that you no longer possess these unnecessary items. Moving all of your clutter to your friends empty house sounds like an absolutely terrible idea to me, but then, I have no hoarder instincts and am not in any way compelled to keep things that impede on my quality of life. Do the work. Let it go. Donate what you can and make peace with throwing things away. Moving it all to another location just feels like avoiding the problem. Face it. Do it. You're on this sub for a reason. You can do this.

  17. If you very honestly think about it, is the reason for the continued hoarding really just that you don't have space for the "decluttered things"? I think it is much likelier that you are still dealing with unresolved issues that are leading to the hoarding in the first place, which I would recommend addressing first and foremost. Moving things around isn't going to resolve those difficult feelings. So yeah, I think this is a bad idea.

  18. This will not help your healing process. Get a dumpster and throw out as much as possible. Start one room per week or one room per month depending on severity. Don’t make the situation harder by spreading it across 2 location. You got this!!!!

  19. I think it’s just going to delay your work. You’ll need: trash, recycling and donate boxes. Every day, you can take out trash, recycling, and bring items for donation. You need to create space by removing things, not putting them somewhere.

  20. Definitely only touch it once. I did a mini version of this with my spare room and I’m kicking myself over it. It feels like I’ve done all the work already, I should be done by now, and yet I have a whole room full of junk that needs to be packed up, donated, recycled, etc.

  21. Yes, it’s a bad idea. Esp ALL of it. If you’re talking about one thing needing space to organize (like say a comic book collection) that is one thing.

  22. Moving your stuff would already be such a big project, exhausting and time consuming. I don't know if you would also have the energy to declutter and move it back. It sounds like delayed decisions to me. Don't spend time moving and sorting items you won't keep. Try to declutter at home, and create temporary spaces to place the items you will keep.

  23. My mom would frequently say she wanted to just move to a new place and burn the old one down because she didn't want to deal with all her shit.

  24. This doesn’t make sense to me personally. Declutter as much as you can fit in your car everyday and take a daily trip to the dump or thrift store.

  25. Just to add, I think this changes the mindset from “what can I get rid of?” to “what can I keep?” which has the risk of allowing yourself to justify keeping more things than you really need.

  26. Eh i don’t think it’s the best idea. When I convinced my mom to declutter we took multiple trips a day to a local charity shop

  27. Can you crash at your friend’s place a few nights a week? You can be in a nice place to incentivize yourself to go work in the project house?

  28. 3 months isn't a lot of time, especially going into the busiest time of the year. What happens when she comes back and her "empty" house is full? You just made your stuff her problem. Are your items more important than your friendship? You're not going to resolve years of hoarding in a few months.

  29. The best advice is to touch it only once if you can. Garbage in trash bags, donate in cardboard box. Take box to thrift store or giveaway as soon as you can. You can not organize excess. Unless you have an army of people to help you move your items, it is going to take forever. I think renting a storage unit (with a time limit in mind) would be the best thing. I would put stuff in there that you know you want to keep but don’t necessarily need. Just to make room to work, but the time limit is critical.

  30. Umm yes. Very bad idea. That's like asking " should I pack my trash to go on a vacation with me on a plane and then just dump it out when I get there ". There is such a thing as utterly stupid , this is one of them.

  31. The trash will never make it back from vacation. The only thing dumber would be “should I take my trash to a storage unit to pay someone to store my trash”

  32. Having a neutral space to sort can be helpful, but this is going to end with two hoarded homes and one less friend in a few months. You'll waste so much of your decluttering time and energy on packing and moving that you won't have enough left to actually declutter and get rid of stuff.

  33. Look up the term "double handling". I doubt you'll find a single circumstance where it's considered beneficial. You'll be double handling everything in your house.

  34. Rearranging chairs on the titanic or genius idea? Don’t know you to tell if it will help or not. Have you cleared out a space ? Then what happened? What will you do when you’ve moved it all? Can you live like that? I but this could work…I have twice done this prior to s move with storage sheds. Somehow easier to declutter with it in boxes and out of the house?

  35. Do not do this you'll lose a friend. Rent a storage locker move all your stuff in there. Make a plan regarding the stuff you have, list keep, goodwill and trash. Keep your home as minimal as possible. Set yourself a time table and stick to it

  36. It seems like adding so much more work that you're likely to get in trouble by not being able to finish the whole project on time. But i wonder if maybe you'd be able to use their house to store the items from that one area you mention to give yourself space to work? How much room would you need to do this, do you know which area in your house could work for this? It's probably still better to just declutter one small area at a time and get rid of things as soon as you can, but I can imagine that to work too.

  37. Terrible idea. Who knows what is in your hoard. You don't need to go jeopardizing your friendship and potentially your friend rental property with all your garbage. What if you have an infestation youre not aware of yet that you bring there? What if you're just as overwhelmed there as you are at home? What if youre not done in 3 months? Just rent a dumpster and start throwing shit out. Make your own clean slate in your own house. If your friend wants to help they can come help you throw shit out.

  38. I second the opinions that this is a terrible idea. You need to put the energy into deciding what you absolutely need if you have too much stuff. Anything which is a "maybe" should go into the donation/thrift store box while everything which you don't want which isn't too valuable can go directly into the trash. If you're feeling sentimental about those items, just take a picture and leave it in a folder to be sorted out later (honestly, it will probably stay there forever).

  39. I hired a skip and got rolls of black bags. Sorted as I went to donate, keep and skip. Emptied my entire loft and most of the house of clutter. I'm looking forward to doing it next year with the garage and rest of house. Bad idea to move it to another house. You might as well sort it as you go, will take less energy than moving it all.

  40. I'll probably get downvoted for this but I'm going to say it regardless. I believe that the idea of a staging area for sorting can be helpful. Especially those of us with executive functioning difficulties need to be able to see things instead of working on a tiny bit of clutter at a time in a cramped space and trying to feel like we're making any progress at all. Some of us need a view of the big picture, from a mile up if that's what it takes, in order to set a goal and buy into it. To me, this is not "churning" per se, or needn't be. It's strategy.

  41. That sounds like a lot of extra effort for no pay off. Your energy would be better spent moving trash to a dumpster and donations to the donation center. You’ll have space to organize what you want to keep when that stuff is gone. You ideally want to deal with each item the first time you touch it instead of just moving things from place to place.

  42. I'm going to go against the majority and say it can work. I used a smaller scale approach with a storage unit. Dragged everything out to sort. There's a UK TV programme, BBC series Sort Your Life Out With Stacey Solomon that takes EVERYTHING to a community hall so you can see EXACTLY what you've got. Worth a watch if you can find it.

  43. Absolutely not. If you can, drop a dumpster at your place and fill it up. If you can store something at a different house, you don't need it.

  44. Then your shuffling crap. Double the work for the same results you hopefully want to end up with? I don't think this will go how you imagine.

  45. In theory I absolutely agree with the first part of your comment. But in actual practice, I only need to look behind the closed doors in my own home to see where “just getting it out of the way for now until I can deal with it” has gotten me. So I already know how it would play out.

  46. I wonder if all the advice is coming from ppl who have no problem decluttering or if they see the pitfalls more clearly. I am of 2 minds regarding this. I know that my hoard/clutter is not the issue that my poor mother had (she had a serious problem) so a plan like this would be workable for me. For someone like my mom, she would have no hope because she could not get rid of anything, it caused her such distress. My husband and I are kind of doing a modified version of this. We are refinishing the hardwood floors on our main floor so we have moved all our things to the basement. And I am really making hay at the same time, ruthlessly getting rid of all the junk we have accumulated. I wish you the best of luck whatever you decide to do.

  47. I can tell you with certainty that I’m coming from a place of true concern for the OP, based on not only my own behavior but on what i’ve observed in this forum over the past year or so. Anyone who has this much “stuff” — that they’d consider using a friend’s nearby home to house some of it — it’s just not going to end well. Out of sight is out of mind for way too many of us. That’s how rooms and garages and basements and such fill up over time. :-/

  48. Having a staging area for everything so that you can get a fresh start on your living space is fine. But it will only work if you have a clear understanding in your mind that some of it, probably a lot of it, will ultimately have to go to a donation box or a dumpster.

  49. The one single solitary thing that The Minimalists (Netflix documentary) told me concerning decluttering is to PRETEND you’re moving, by boxing absolutely everything up, as if you’re moving, and only unpacking the necessities one by one. You don’t NEED to use a second home for this. But since you have one, maybe keep the least essential boxes there until you donate them or find someone to give things a second life.

  50. I am in the minority but I think if you’re really brutal and only take what you love and will use it’s okay to take it to the other house. I’m in the final (I hope!) stage of downsizing a 3 floor home of 30 yrs. It is a tremendous psychological help to see empty space whether through giving, trashing or keeping. I even rented a storage locker for stuff my adult kids still want but don’t have room for, they are all in small apts now. It helped just to have it out of the house. Good luck, it’s a ton of work but totally worth it. Just remember it’s a process, it won’t happen overnight

  51. It sounds similar to the premise of the show Sort out your life, only on that show they have A LOT of help, moving, decluttering and setting their home up for success. They also have a strict time limit. And while 3 months sounds like a time limit, it will probably work against you in that you will end up needing to move everything back again, undecluttered, the days before your friend returns.

  52. You’re getting a lot of hate for this. I think there’s a good happy medium in there. I get what you’re saying, it’s hard to declutter in place. Some of the best decluttering I ever did was moving into my boyfriend’s house. I had a full month to tackle packing and going through a box thoughtfully without giving up a relaxing space that wasn’t a project zone. I do think the whole moving all of your stuff back and forth is inefficient and risky, but I get the sentiment.

  53. I’m not sure of OPs living situation, but you might consider clearing enough space for one shelving unit. I have a metal wire unit you can buy from Lowes or Home Depot and created a space to organize donations. I have an open box for clothing donations, other donations, plastic recycling, etc. they could sort items and have a family member or friend could take items to donate as the boxes are filled while OP continues sorting. Also, declutter with a friend who reminds you of your end goal.

  54. I agree with the other people who mentioned that moving stuff to another location is wasting time and energy. It is better to use that time and energy actually getting rid of stuff than just moving it around...I completely get it though that it is hard to declutter when you don't have much space to organize the stuff you are sorting through. That does make it harder, but for that I personally would first focus on decluttering one room on the main floor of your home that you can then turn into a sorting area to make the rest of the decluttering process a bit easier on yourself.

  55. Maybe you could declutter in the backyard. Create Three piles- trash, goodwill, keep. Most items go in trash or goodwill. It’s a good feeling to share with the less fortunate.

  56. If it's an "investment" home, do it. Fill it with your crap. Housing should be free and no one should ever own housing as an investment. Your friend is a parasite.

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