How To Break Up with Clutter!

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clutterWe’re right in the midst of the holiday season, a time full of family, friends, food, and… STUFF! All gifts are given with good intentions and decorations are purchased to make a house feel like home for the holidays. Unfortunately, there are gifts we’ll receive that just aren’t our style and those decorations are only relevant for a small portion of the year. So many of us shuffle these gifts to the side and let holiday décor pile up in corners of the house, closet shelves and basement storage bins. Are you finding yourself to have too much clutter?



Breaking Up With Clutter



Right now is the ideal time to get rid of junk and restart with a clean slate. Here’s how to go about doing “a de clutter” before the holidays and get your space feeling clean and organized. With care and a plan ahead of time, there will be plenty of room to welcome in your new beloved gifts from friends and family.


Lay the groundwork

clutter lay down the groundwork

Now that you have decided that decluttering is a good idea, it’s time to get the foundation in order. Therefore, try to set a goal for the amount of things you would like to get rid of in total. Professional organizers recommend fifty items for those doing their first spree and fifteen for those who do them a few times a year. If those numbers sound intimidating, don’t worry it is easier than you think.

Top Clutter Culprits

• Clothes and shoes
• Accessories (purses, belts, costume jewelry)
• Kid’s toys
• Medicine cabinet contents
• Kitchen pantry (think expired food and anything that hasn’t been used recently)
• Junk drawer contents

Gather all of the items into a dedicated space and make a list to keep progress to your goal number. Want an extra challenge? Count only one of each clothing item as something on the list. As an example, if you donate five shirts, count it as one and challenge yourself to find other things besides clothes to rehome. Don’t stress it if you can’t find other items; a good closet purge is always a win.


What to do with the items

clutter what to do with items

Have a whole pile of things that you’re ready to part with? Your next question is probably, now what?! Creating unnecessary waste is never a good idea. A majority of the items you’ll collect while clearing your space will be things that others in your community can use. Any clothing that is in good condition and free of stains or holes can be donated to local thrift stores, shelters or children’s programs. Books can always go to the library, but nursing homes, community centers, and hospitals likely accept literature with pleasure. Veteran’s associations and community initiative groups also offer a pick up service to save you some time from loading items up and transporting them. Religious institutions also accept baby items, literature, clothing, and odds and ends with gratitude.

Capitalize on the clutter and sell some of it for cash! Craigslist, eBay, Buy/Sell/Trade groups on Facebook and other mobile applications are the best ways to connect with those nearby and around the world. Pictures are the key to success with selling online and you can never have too many of an item. Be honest about the condition of the piece and try to be as speedy as possible with your shipping. Both of these qualities are attractive to potential buyers.

Consequently, there are a wealth of odds and ends that aren’t worth the time to try and sell online. Picture frames, used kitchen appliances, most kid’s toys, and costume jewelry fall within this category. If the weather permits, save all of your items for a garage sale! Advertise in local community groups online, supermarkets, the library and get friends to spread the word. Worried that you don’t have enough for a garage sale? Share this article with friends and get them in on the “de clutter” trend. Do a yard sale together to attract more deal hunters.


Additional Tips


Make and Keep Good Habits
Accumulation will happen naturally and bringing in some new isn’t always a bad thing. Learn some lessons from this first cleanse and how to maintain balance and minimalistic practices going forward with these minimalistic mantras:

A place for everything and everything in its place. Is your child’s toy box full? Time to remove some of the older toys to make room for new favorites. Try to avoid storing toys in other areas instead.

Can’t remember? Then now is the time. Can’t recall the last time you wore that dress? Made cupcakes with that “as seen on TV” pan? Then it likely doesn’t have a place within your home anymore.

Communication Leads to Break Ups. This one is off-beat from the usual relationship mantra, but for STUFF, it fits perfectly! Actively engage all family members to assist with the decluttering event and remember to be mindful.

Doing a junk purge is an excellent habit to put into place a few times a year. Try one before the holidays (now!), with spring cleaning and one to start off the summer. Remember that holidays and gift giving is about being thoughtful, and bringing joy to a loved one’s life. Choose to gift experiences over physical items whenever possible. Many happy memories could be made over lunch that’s your treat instead of giving a simple gift basket with no future value.


Lifestyle writer specializing in fitness, fashion and home improvement blogs

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