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Shed Clutter and Simplify Your Life

Updated on October 15, 2016

It is amazing how fast your home gets cluttered with unessential items, cast offs , and has beens. Here are some tips for keeping your home clutter free. The process is called “shedding” and it involves four steps for methodically letting go of objects and activities that bog us down so we can move forward with ease. It is an empowering feeling when you can de-clutter periodically.

1. The first thing is to be aware of the clutter. Look around and really “see” the clutter. You may have become oblivious to the clutter since you live with it every day. There is a disorder called “hoarding”, and if you suspect you have this disorder, you may need professional help to overcome and de-clutter. But if you have just let things get out of hand, you should be able to acknowledge the clutter.

2. Realize that most of the clutter is not junk. Each and every thing that you have in your home got there because at one point you felt it was a necessity. It may have been an impulse purchase that you later discovered was the wrong color or it didn’t meet your needs. Many items will also have passed their usefulness or expiration date. You may have a sentimental reason for keeping it, but probably will never use it again.

3. Get three large boxes, marking one for “sentimental value”, one for “give away” and one for “trash”. Purge by area, not just running from one thing to another. Decide if a particular item is still a necessity, if it is outdated, or if someone else would appreciate it more. Those items that have true sentimental value may be heirlooms including family silver or china, bibles, hand-embroidered linens or jewelry. You can store these in a special wooden chest or sealed plastic container that will keep them well preserved for the next generation.

Old photo albums and important documents are valuable and can be stored out of sight. In this digital age, there are many services offered where you can digitize all of your albums, and several pictures or documents can fit on a small CD, DVD or an external hard drive. If you are up to the challenge, you can get a scanner and do it yourself. But, it will go a long way in making your home feel less cluttered. You can store these precious items away rather than having them sitting out on every free surface in your living room or bedroom. It is always good to have an extra copy in case something happens such as a flood or fire. Keep digital copies stored in a safe place.

4. Decide where to store your boxes of sentimental value. Then you can find a creative way to find a new home for your items you put in the “give away” box. You could earn some extra money by having a garage sale, donate them to a second hand store and get credit for a tax deduction, or you could give them to a family that may be having a difficult time.

Perfect times for purging are when the seasons change, when you decorate for the holidays, or when you are about to relocate. You will find that you can actually breath more freely and that this purging process will have lifted some of your burdens.


Submit a Comment

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Yes Lita it is hard to give up sentimental stuff - maybe you can save it digitally - picture or san. You can do it.

  • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

    Lita C. Malicdem 

    8 years ago from Philippines

    Speaking about clutter, I don't make good at stashing away things with sentimental values to me. You just gave me a nice way to start sorting. Thank you.

  • RTalloni profile image


    8 years ago from the short journey

    Thanks for the encouragement. Did you paint that great picture? Love that happy row of houses! Now I'm wanting to make my own art for photos...

    Great dialogue too!

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thanks for your comments WriteAngled. Hope that you can get a handle on your past. I'm sure that is very difficult to overcome. I am getting better at decluttering, but still have to work on it.

  • WriteAngled profile image


    8 years ago from Abertawe, Cymru

    Arrgghhh, this has become a huge battle for me recently. My parents had very little money, and I had some years when my income barely covered my two daughters' and my basic needs. So I'm still at the stage of trying to deal with the guilt of getting rid of something that might just come in useful, or was given to me as a gift, or.... or... ouch!

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Glad will be happy if this hub helps one person feel better. Thanks Pamela for your comments.

  • Pamela Broom profile image

    Pamela Broom 

    8 years ago

    Great Hub elayne001. I need to find my house from the accumulated pile of clutter. Will find it now after reading your hub. I am dying to live without clutter. Procastination was holding me back since long.

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thank you 2uesday for your comments. You can do it. Aloha!

  • 2uesday profile image


    8 years ago

    I need encouraging on this so your hub is very useful the three box idea when sorting might be just what I need. It is the sentimental side of me that wants to hang on to things. I sometimes have to remind myself that clothes no longer worn are more use to a charity shop than in the back of a cupboard. Very helpful hub.

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thank you for your comments myownworld and Beth100. I appreciate it more than you know. Aloha!

  • Beth100 profile image


    8 years ago from Canada

    Excellent ideas and process. I just finished doing this to our home -- it's so much nicer to live clutter-free!

  • myownworld profile image


    8 years ago from uk

    sensible and useful advice as always! i admit to keeping too many of those 'sentimental' things though....and can never bring myself to giving them away. But I like how you call the process 'shedding' and 'purging'....almost like a cleansing detox! anyway, thank you for sharing this...must get to organizing some of that mess into boxes soon!

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Yeah, me too! Sometimes we can give advise but don't do it ourselves, right? Thanks LianaK.

  • LianaK profile image


    8 years ago

    Wonderful hub. Something I totally need to work on! Thanks for the great advice...maybe I can have a clean new start by New Year's.

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    I'm glad you are feeling better. It sure does make a difference doesn't it Naomi. Happy holidays and aloha!

  • Naomi R. Cox profile image

    Naomi R. Cox 

    8 years ago from Elberton, Georgia

    I just went over my whole house getting the clutter out. It sure made me feel so much better. Good advice and information. Thanks for sharing. Well done.

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Must be a common malady of ours. Thank you all for your comments. As far as getting rid of online accumulation. Stay off the computer for a couple of days and learn to ignore. Easier said than done. Aloha!

  • Rachaelle Lynn profile image

    Rachaelle Lynn 

    8 years ago from Gainesville, Florida

    This is great! I wrote a hub on this topic this month too. My life has gotten so much easier since I became a minimalist. Thanks for this article!

  • keira7 profile image


    8 years ago

    I always have a lot of items that I know I dont need but cant trow out. I never understood why. My husband says I am too sentimentale. It could be, I dont know. Anyway great hub my dear. Thanks for the tips.

  • TrudyVan profile image

    TrudyVan Curre 

    8 years ago from South Africa

    Hello there. Great advice which I firmly believe in. less clutter more focus

  • breakfastpop profile image


    8 years ago

    Great hub. I try to throw something out every day. it makes me feel wonderful and free!

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    8 years ago from London, UK

    Thank you for your lovely hub.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    True, true. How about "people clutter?" All these "friends" we accumulate on the sites like Facebook and even hubpages. How do you get rid of all this uneeded responsibility without hurting feelings? A skip maybe?...Bob


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