My best de-cluttering tips

I know many people have spent time during quarantine cleaning out their houses. I haven’t done too much because I’ve been committed to de-c!uttering for years. I got lots of good ideas from books when I became devoted to a clutter-free home and over time I’ve come up with a few of my own.

1. Ask yourself: If I was moving would I take this with me? I find this helps me see what something means to me & how much trouble it’s worth. If it’s not worth moving, why is it worth keeping?

2. Put a date on the object & put it aside. When you look at it again it’ll give you a better idea of whether you a) use it or b) missed it. I also like to put short notes on items I have some question about. “Needs new cord” or “extra” or “jeans too loose at waist.” Waiting awhile can eliminate my indecision or give me a fresh idea. It’s useful, if possible, to keep such items together somewhere they won’t be forgotten/overlooked.

3. Think of a person – someone you know or a celebrity – whose style you admire and who, to your knowledge, lives clutter-free in a nice home. Ask yourself: would such-and-so have this item in their house?

4. Consider if the item is one-of-a-kind; i.e. if you get rid of it & regret it, how hard would it be to replace? I had a conversation once with a cousin who was afraid she might get rid of something valuable, a concern lots of us have. I pointed out that if it was a box of gold bricks, she’d probably keep it.😁 Most things can be replaced and your life won’t be a shambles but for the excised object.

5. Go through all your belongings on a regular basis. What seemed important to keep two years ago might no longer seem so now. I’ve been surprised by what the passage of time can do to my desire to hang onto things.

11 thoughts on “My best de-cluttering tips

  1. Ally Bean

    My interest in de-cluttering waxes and wanes. Simplify is my word of the year and I started off with a bang, going through stuff in the basement. Now I’m less into sorting through things because there’s nowhere to take the stuff once I’ve decided I’m over it. Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul aren’t accepting donations. Habitat for Humanity store is closed. And so, the stuff remains here, more or less organized as I wait.

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    1. Colette Post author

      I know just what you mean. Once I’ve decided to get rid of something, I want it gone NOW. We have a truck that comes twice a month to a central spot to collect stuff. It is very motivating knowing the truck is coming but as you say, it ain’t coming now. On the other hand there is still a public bin operated by the city that’ll take clothes, shoes, and certain fabric items any time; so glad!

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  2. Kate Crimmins

    Dating something is a great idea. I do that for things I’m undecided about. If in a year I haven’t even thought about it, out it goes. I also have a few things that I’m keeping “in case it fits the next house.” If it doesn’t, after we move, it will go out.

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      1. Kate Crimmins

        I don’t do many things because my tastes change and things don’t fit. I got rid of all my extra lamps. I was saving and realized that I may want new ones but I have a fun sleigh cocktail table that doesn’t fit here. I’d love to use it again so I’m keeping it.

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    1. Colette Post author

      I appreciate that! I live in relatively small quarters and it forces me to be careful about what stays. I also try not to fill up storage areas just because they’re there which is so easy to do.

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  3. Paula R.C. Readman

    I shall be de-cluttering my wardrobe soon as sitting writing all day has increased my hips and thighs 😂🤣 My wardrobe and book collection are the two areas I have the most difficulty in down sizing. My collection of clothes aren’t through spending lots of money, but through charity shop finds and creating my own unique style. Books are my passion 😢

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    1. Colette Post author

      Many writers keep troves of books! Now that digital seems to be where things are going, hanging onto hard copies doesn’t seem such a bad idea. I get you on the clothes. One idea I heard recently was to keep only your favorites because that’s what you wear mostly anyway.

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