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Declutter Your Home and Clear Out The Junk

Updated on December 13, 2010
The loot I am taking to Goodwill this week.
The loot I am taking to Goodwill this week.

I am on a mission right now. A mission to declutter my house and I am being ruthless in what I get rid of. I don't do this often, not nearly often enough. But once a year or so I start to feel like we have too much stuff that has no purpose in our lives. I start feeling the need to clean out the clutter and junk. By junk I don't mean actual junk, but stuff that has taken over our home that we don't need or really even want. It might have value to someone else but it has lost its value to us and becomes junk. I have to say it feels very good to get rid of this stuff.

Here is the process I go through in cleaning out the clutter from my home. First I try to look at a room from a visitor's perspective. We spend so much time in our homes that we stop seeing the way things really look. We get used to stepping around or over the pile of shoes in the doorway and stop seeing the pile of old newspapers that no one has had time to take out. Pretend you are a guest visiting your home for the first time. What do you see now?

Next, I start putting things back where they belong. Most often in my house the "junk" is stuff that is out of place. There are six of us and it seems that no one ever puts anything back where it belongs. I usually try to get everyone to help and it goes pretty quickly. Once everything is back where it belongs you can really see what needs to be done to declutter.

Third, I start sorting through things. I start with areas that get little use. The toy buckets or bookshelves that are full of things that don't get used or played with everyday. Once you get some momentum going it is pretty easy to continue. I will try to stick with one room at a time and work from one side to the other. It is important not to get sidetracked by wandering off into other rooms. It is helpful to either make piles or get boxes. I have a pile of things I want to keep but maybe need to be stored somewhere else (like outgrown toys that I want to save for the next child). I start a box of things that are worth something that I could sell on Craigslist or EBay and I start a box of things that are ready to be given away.

I usually really start to see progress at this point and it feels so good. Once I have one room done and can see the difference it is easy to move on to other rooms. As the boxes get filled I either put them in my car to drop at Goodwill or by my desk to list for sale. Having the items right there in the way is pretty motivating to getting it taken care of.

There are some questions you can ask yourself when trying to decide whether to keep something or not. Do you use the item anymore? When was the last time you used it? If I haven't worn something or used something in a year it is most likely leaving my home for good. There are some things that are important but don't get used frequently that I do keep but for the most part if it doesn't get used frequently it is gone. Do you like the item? Many times we are given things or even buy things for ourselves that don't end up working the way we wanted them to. It is OK to get rid of them! If they don't meet your needs don't hang on to them.

Another question to ask is does it have sentimental value? There are certain things that I am hanging on to, to pass onto my kids or to have when we have grandkids, but I don't need them in my everyday life. It feels pretty good to box this stuff up and put it in my basement in storage for a few years. Other things that are sentimental aren't easily boxed up, but maybe moving them to somewhere else in your house would improve the way things look. And remember you don't have to hang onto everything.

Decluttering feels very good! My house always looks fresher and more organized when I am done and I find I have more space, physically and visually. Having a clean, uncluttered house is very calming for your mind. I am so much more peaceful when there is open space around me. Have you decluttered your house lately?


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    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Great info. Thanks for the breakdown. :)

    • lyjo profile image

      lyjo 7 years ago

      Awesome hub! I too, have been trying to declutter, but my husband seems to keep adding...its become a bit of a battle...long & painful...but I am winning this one~ thanks for this, everything always looks (almost brand new) once its done...Take Care! Merry Christmas!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      That is a useful hub and my house needs doing.

    • rwelton profile image

      rwelton 7 years ago from Sacramento CA

      Thanks for the reminder- we all go through this - our Mantra is if you don't love it or use it - lose it.


    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 7 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      Great hub. I can use some of these ideas. I think I will wait till after Christmas.

      Happy Holidays to you and your family

    • Spindle profile image

      Spindle 7 years ago from Surrey

      Greta hub! I to have started to declutter. It seems around Christmas I get the urge, knowing that the house is going to get filled again with new toys!

    • chspublish profile image

      chspublish 7 years ago from Ireland

      You're so right about decluttering. it's really good for the household both from an appearance and atmosphere. I often have difficulty, however, in finding a home for all the unnecssary items and I have to be very strict with myself and that's where I fall down usually. I will take your example on board and be ruthless with myself and start again. Thanks for the hub.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      When I throw something away I feel liberated and lighter.

    • GALAXY 59 profile image

      GALAXY 59 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great idea, my home good really do with a good declutter right about now. Just in time for all of the new clutter that we all end up with over the Christmas period. I must admit that I am a bit of a horder but I am trying to let things go.

    • Spider Girl profile image

      Spider Girl 7 years ago from the Web

      That's a great idea!

    • katrinasui profile image

      katrinasui 7 years ago

      A nice hub with useful information. Bless you on the decluttering before the holidays:)

    • cwarden profile image

      cwarden 7 years ago from USA

      I used to hold onto everything that I ever received as a gift. One day I just got so tired of moving things around to find what I needed that I decided to get rid of almost everything in my closets and storage. I gave everything away and it was the funnest and best thing I ever did. Seeing people so excited and grateful to have the things I would probably never use was a life-changing experience for me and I will never go back to my old ways again! Now when I get things that I can't use, I just give them to someone who needs them and will truly use them - with no guilt!

    • onceuponatime66 profile image

      Jackie Paulson 7 years ago from USA IL

      I love this topic! Good luck and bless you on the decluttering before the holidays, we all need to do this I am so sure.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Decluttering does feel good. It's sometimes a struggle to decide what to jettison.