Benefits of Getting Rid of Stuff
Decluttering is the process of removing rarely used or unnecessary items from your home. The idea is to rid yourself of items that are not essential and to simplify your life. It is a good way to clear your head and make room for new things.
It can be difficult to decide what to get rid of, but these are some benefits that you may experience from decluttering:
- You will have less stuff to worry about;
- You will spend less time looking for some items;
- You will have more time and energy for other things in life;
- You get a better-functioning home because your living space will be cleaner and more organized;
- You will have more space for the things you care about;
- You will have a better understanding of what’s important to you;
- You will start making more mindful purchases henceforward.
The benefits of decluttering are totally worth prioritizing decluttering as soon as possible. But there’s another issue…
Why Is It So Hard to Declutter?
Decluttering can be hard because it is a process that takes a lot of time and effort. It also is hard to get rid of things because we think we might need them in the future, or we are attached to our stuff, or certain things can be sentimental to us. If you understand your reasons why it seems hard and overwhelming to tackle the clutter, we can give you some useful tips for each reason that will help you make the task a lot easier. We believe that our tips below can even make you enjoy the process of decluttering.
You Don’t Have Time for Decluttering
We all know that decluttering is good not only for our mental health, but it’s always too time-consuming. But there’s a simple solution. Decluttering your home is easier when you work in small chunks at a time. The study found that people who do decluttering for 10-15 minutes every day were more successful than those who tried to do it all in one go. Consistency is more important than intensity in this task. These few minutes will definitely make a big impact on your home and life. Just start small and build up the pace as you go!
You Have No Motivation or Energy for Decluttering
It can be very difficult to get started, and it can be even more difficult to continue the process if you are not clear on what you want to accomplish with decluttering. It is important to have a goal in mind before embarking on any organizing task. Keep in mind your goal to stay motivated and keep reminding yourself that having less stuff is good, as it will not take up your energy.
As you begin your decluttering project, it will be helpful to make a list of tasks and room-by-room checklists that you want to complete during the process. And add every task to your schedule and stick to them as you do your regular job every day.
You Spent Lots of Money on Stuff
You are afraid of getting rid of something that you spent money on. The thing is, it’s very common to feel bad about wasting money on stuff you don’t use, need, or want anymore. Any money you spend on something is now gone. Don’t feel guilty, try selling on online marketplaces if it’s in a good condition instead of regretting it. Or donate it to someone who may need the item (and probably cannot afford it). Do some charity. Every time you see it, all it will do is make you feel bad. Release the item, then take what you learned to heart so that you can shop more deliberately and carefully in the future.
Sentimental Stuff and Gifts
This is a common fear among people who are not sure if they should get rid of something or not. We all have memories attached to our belongings, so it is natural to have this fear. Letting things go isn’t always easy if we feel attached.
The first thing you need to do is to take a good look at your item and decide if it has any sentimental value. Something really important. If it is really meaningful to you, keep the item because the memories will be with you forever. Things like family heirlooms, old photos of your grandparents and family members, and grandmother’s jewelry should be kept indeed.
Sometimes you keep items because they are emotional, but in fact are not really that important to you, and you just feel like you are obligated to keep them. Ask yourself what would happen if you lost that item and someone found it. If the answer is nothing, then there’s no reason for you to keep it in your possession. Things from your past self, gifts from your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, things that remind you of people who are not in your life anymore – are you sure you want to keep those stuff? Clear out stuff like that and think about ways to make room for new things and people in your life.
Things for “Just in Case” and for “Someday”
We often have things that we don’t need but are holding onto just in case they are needed and they might be useful someday. Our fear is we can throw away things and we may regret later that we don’t have them when we need them. Getting rid of things for “just in case” and for “someday” can be tough, but it is necessary to declutter your life from stuff like that and keep the items you really use.
Think about if the “just in case” or “someday” situations are likely to occur. Has that ever happened previously? How probable is it that you won’t use it in the future if you don’t use it now? Of course, you will go hiking and use your equipment, or you will use your Christmas cookie cutters Someday. It’s a good idea to set a deadline for things for “just in case” and for “someday” to test them. Give them a last chance by setting a deadline: you can even set a reminder on your phone. And let the stuff go if you haven’t utilized them by the due date. It’s good to focus on what you need now and the things that you really use.
Things You Love
When you love your belongings, the idea of decluttering can be challenging. If you love something and it doesn’t fit in your life anymore, it is hard to let go.
Are you sure you love everything you own? We have so much stuff in our houses, most of them we don’t use in daily life and we hardly remember that we even have them in our house. Decluttering is about clarifying what you really need, and what’s important to you, and you don’t have to get rid of all the things you love. Take your time to sort out all the stuff at your place so the things you love will shine.
Some Tips Before Your Start
Start With Your Mindset: Why Do I Want to Get Rid of Everything?
It’s not always easy to get rid of everything and start from scratch. And if you’re considering decluttering, that means you have more than enough things in your life. If you’re ready to get started with decluttering, it’s good to begin with your mindset. Examine your motivations. Sometimes we feel like we need some of our old things to remind us of who we are. But there are other times when it feels like everything is weighing you down and you just want to start fresh. Think about your end goal. Think about what might prevent you from finishing the task. Keep reminding yourself of your end goal during the whole process.
Make a List of Must-Keep Things
The next step is to take an inventory of what you have and figure out what you want to keep, what you can do without, and what needs a little work. Start with the easiest items first. Ask yourself if this item sparks joy or if it brings up any negative emotions. Consider whether this item has sentimental value or is practical in some way. Then make a list of the things you believe are important and worth keeping, and why. The following questions can help you decide:
- Do you really need the item?
- Can you replace it?
- If you’re not using it now, will you use it in 3-5 years?
Think About What You Will Do With Broken, Unused, and Unwanted Items
One of the main aspects of decluttering is to think about what you will do with broken, unused, and unwanted items. We own so much stuff, that we hardly remember that we even have them in our house. If things had feelings, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be happy that they lie unused or broken.
There are several options for them. Mend them if they are broken, and sell or donate them if you don’t use them. Start by considering what resources are available nearby. What are donation pick-ups in your area and what do they accept? How do I find local recycling and what materials and items do they accept for recycling? Do they pick up?
- Do you have unused items that are in good condition? Some books, unused appliances, furniture, kids’ toys, etc. You can make an extra buck by putting them in a garage sale, or online marketplaces such as eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook local groups.
- Or you could consider donating your items to various social service organizations that provide help with poverty, mental health, education, and many other needs. Examples of these types of organizations are The Salvation Army, Big Brothers & Big Sisters of America, Patriots & Paws, Goodwill, etc. This option is always a good choice because not only will your item find a new home but it will help someone in need too.
- Give away
- Giving away items that are in a good condition that you no longer need can be a good option for decluttering as well. It’s a great way to clear your space and help out your friends and family at the same time. Just make sure that they need that certain item and will make use of it.
- Another good way is listing your items on websites such as Freebies, Freecycle, or Craigslist’s Free Stuff section, etc., offering people your stuff for free. So your items will find their new home in the hands of someone who really needed them.
- Consider returning your items to stores where they were purchased or bought online if it doesn’t fit or you’ve changed your mind. You can do that and ask for a refund in 14 or 30 days depending on the store’s return policy. You still can return some of the purchased items even if you haven’t kept the original receipts. Some stores and major retailers accept clothes and other items in exchange for gift cards. They run their own programs or have teamed up with charity organizations to assist shoppers in exchanging unwanted items for discounts, vouchers, and other benefits.
- One of the reasons we do not declutter and get rid of unused items is usually guilt for money spent. So returning stuff (and getting benefits for that) is another great option, and it teaches us to shop more carefully and responsibly moving forward.
- If you have a number of old, unused items in bad condition that you can’t sell or donate, they can be recycled. That’s the most environmentally friendly option. This helps the environment by reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and also helps you earn money for your old electronics. Consider taking advantage of the recycling programs offered by your local city or town.
- It’s a nice option to try giving new life to your old items that you found in your home, garden, or garage. You could use them in a better way if you are a creative person. For example, you can turn empty wine bottles into candle holders, soap dispensers, or flower vases. Glass jars can be food storage containers and you can take meals to work. You can also turn plastic ice cream containers into flower pots or seed starters, and paint them in different colors. There are plenty of interesting ideas with pictures you can find on Google or Pinterest! Involve your kids in such activities, I bet they have more creative ideas and they’ll love to do some painting with you.
- If there is something that you don’t want anymore but it’s not functional enough for donation or recycling, then throwing it out is a good option. If you have items to throw away, do it responsibly. For example, if you’re disposing of electrical items or light bulbs, don’t throw them in your regular garbage can – do that at an authorized facility.
How to Get Rid of Everything and Move: Room-By-Room Decluttering Guide
The guide below will show you how to declutter your home room-by-room and make your home more organized, livable, and beautiful.
- Start small. Set up a time when you have at least 10-15 minutes of uninterrupted time;
- Start with one area or room of your home;
- Each room in your house can be decluttered at one time, but it’s best to complete the entire process over a few weeks or months;
- Pick up each item in the area that needs decluttering and ask yourself if it sparks joy or not. If it does, put it back where it belongs, if not, put it in a pile for throwing away or donating;
- Don’t feel pressured into getting rid of things right away.
Things to Get Rid of in Your Bedrooms
- Start by making your bed and cleaning the bedroom;
- Determine the things you need for your morning and evening routines;
- Throw away the trash, clear the surfaces, empty and clean out drawers;
- Keep bedtime items you only need: a sleep mask, phone charger, some medications, glasses, etc.
Here is the list of items that should be decluttered in your bedroom:
- Worn-out old bedding;
- Old pillows;
- Old towels;
- Broken hangers.
Check your bedside table if there are:
- Pens that won’t write;
- Old notepads;
- Burned-out light bulbs in your bedside lamp;
- Batteries in your clock that should be changed.
Closet: How to Get Rid of Clothes
If you have too many clothes that you don’t wear anymore, then it is time to declutter and organize your closet and get rid of the ones you no longer wear.
- First, you should put dirty clothes in the laundry room;
- Start with shoes, clothing, and accessories you’re going to keep;
- Then clear out clothes and accessories that definitely should be thrown out. Or better, recycled. As we mentioned above, you can bring them to some stores that accept old clothes and get a voucher;
- Some of your clothes can be expensive and it is really hard to let go of them when they are still in good condition. You decide if you want to keep them, sell them on marketplaces and get some cashback, give them away to your friends or family, donate or recycle.
Get rid of the following things in your closet:
- Clothing that no longer fits you;
- Torn clothes;
- Shoes and accessories you haven’t worn last 3-5 years;
- Broken eyeglasses and sunglasses;
- Eyeglasses with outdated or wrong prescription;
- Mismatched socks;
- Extra buttons you don’t need anymore.
Things to Get Rid of in the Kitchen
- Again, start by cleaning your kitchen;
- Empty all drawers and cupboards and clean the surfaces;
- Organize everything in the drawers cupboards: dishes, storage containers, spices, etc.
Here is the list of items you should consider decluttering in your kitchen:
- Old menus or recipes – you can just take pictures and save them on your phone or computer;
- Fast food napkins and condiment packets;
- Plastic silverware;
- Old towels;
- Old dish sponges;
- Plastic bags;
- Expired pantry items;
- Old candles and birthday candles;
- Party supplies;
- Excess dishes and cups, including kids’ dishes;
- Appliances you don’t use.
Things to Get Rid of in Living Areas
Start by inspecting and cleaning the coffee tables and a chest of drawers in your living room, as well as the entertainment center. Here are the things you should consider getting rid of:
- Old newspapers and magazines;
- Old board games;
- Old toys;
- Old VHS tapes and DVD discs – you can try digitizing them and saving them on your computer;
- DVD players or other electronics you don’t use anymore;
- Electronic accessories such as excess cords, chargers, and remotes that you don’t use.
Things to Get Rid of in Your Home Office
For a more productive work environment, you should keep your home office clean and nice. Clean and declutter the following stuff regularly in your workspace:
- Old newspapers;
- Old books;
- Old paperwork;
- Greeting cards;
- Last year’s calendar;
- Pens that won’t write, excess pencils, folders, and other junked office supplies;
- Cords and chargers that don’t work or you don’t use anymore;
- Old appliances, including old cell phones.
Bathroom and Laundry
- Start by cleaning your bathroom and laundry, put away the stuff that doesn’t belong there;
- Take out all the stuff from the drawers in the bathroom and laundry;
- Check expiration dates of cleaning supplies, makeup and skincare products, medications, as well as washing powder and fabric softeners, etc.;
- Put away (for recycling or disposing of) empty bottles and containers;
- Throw away the trash.
Here’s the list of the things you should get rid of in the bathroom:
- Old towels;
- All expired products;
- Unused lotions, tanners, scrubs, and makeup products;
- Old and duplicate grooming supplies;
- Hotel toiletries (that we like keeping);
Things you should get rid of in the laundry:
- Expired cleaning supplies;
- Empty laundry detergent containers;
- Miscellaneous junk.
Decluttering Entryway or Foyer
It’s good to keep the entryway or foyer functional and free of clutter.
- Again, start by cleaning and removing the stuff from the surfaces and floor;
- Empty the drawers, tables, and desks and remove everything;
- Decide what to do with those items, and what items you should keep;
- Sort out and hang the outerwear, hats, caps, bags, and backpacks. Put the dirty ones in the laundry or better take them to a dry cleaner;
- Clean and declutter this space more often.
Things you should get rid of in the entryway or foyer:
- Old keys;
- Old shoe cleaning kit and creams;
- Old or torn plastic raincoats;
- Old or broken shoe horns, etc.
Things to Get Rid of in Your Garage, Basement, and Attics
We like keeping boxes of stuff we actually don’t need and hardly ever use in our basements, attics, and garages. They include the following things that should be decluttered as soon as you get a chance to purge your place:
- Old appliances;
- Broken or unused furniture;
- Excess tools and supplies;
- Unused chemicals;
- Leftover or unused paint, concrete blocks, bricks, etc. other building materials;
- Old sports equipment or even broken ones, and other things for “someday” and “just in case”.
Decluttering is not an easy task for many people, but it is a regular part of your life. Many people think decluttering should be done only once. As long as items are not cleared out every day, it will take forever to organize your home. Make decluttering a regular part of your life, and it will increase the chances you can keep up with the process.