Background image from: http://www.closetworks.com

Today I spent a good three hours going through my room. I’ve been thinking about this for a little while, the amount of stuff I own compared to the amount I use. Now, I’m not one of those people who wants to downsize to the point I can live in a tiny house, or fit all my belongings in just a handful of boxes, call me materialistic, but I’m in love with the idea of having a big library and I love the idea of treating yourself to new things every now and than. But truth be told I do have a lot of stuff I don’t need, things that I could use to give away, things that might help other people. I have a lot of clutter, and it needs to be taken care of.

Clutter can do a few things to us, it can stress us out, it can weigh us down, and it can waste a lot of our time. The benefits of cleaning house are clear. We all know the feeling we get after cleaning out our closet, that nice satisfaction that sets in.

Here are my tips for kicking the unused to the curb and saying goodbye to the clutter:

  • Start in one place: This sounds obvious, but many people try to tackle a room at a time, and that’s really not going to work that well. Start with a closet, a book shelf, or a the desk drawers. Starting small will keep you from giving out before you finish and therefore keeping you from living in an even worse mess. It’ll also keep you from getting completely and totally overwhelmed.
  • Sort into three piles: Trash, Charity, Secondhand Selling: I sell my used books to the used book store for credit, and some clothing can be sold to secondhand clothing stores, for some higher ticket items it’s a least nice to try. Charity is great, because you’re gifting things to those in need, and throwing away things that could be useful to someone is just a waste. Than again, somethings are just too worn and to beat up, and you’ll be surprised how much straight up trash you have hanging around your house. The piles will help keep you organized.
  • The three month rule: This one I find relates to clothing more than anything. If it’s in season and you haven’t worn it this year, pitch it.
  • Don’t just throw away thing, give the things you’re keeping a home: I know it’s easy to just find an empty space in your closet and store whatever needs to be put up there for a few days, but if you want to stay uncluttered and organized, you need to give things strict homes. I have craft box, and it’s a large one, when the box over flows, it’s time to clean it out, but the box itself is always there and the crafts I’m looking for are always there.

Only you can judge how much is too much, but there is a reason people do this annually and biannually. Start the new years off with a clean living space and room to store everything.

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