10 Creative Ways to Declutter Your Home

“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” —Dale Carnegie

The idea of living a simplified, uncluttered life with less stuff sounds attractive to many. They have considered the benefits of owning fewer possessions: less to clean, less debt, less to organize, less stress, more money and energy for their greatest passions. They are ready to declutter but some get quickly tripped up by the very next question… where in the world do I begin?

Many begin to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and defeated around the idea of decluttering their homes. That’s too bad. The decluttering journey doesn’t need to be as painful as some make it out to be. In fact, there are a variety of people who have come up with some pretty fun, creative ways to get started.

Consider this list of 10 creative ways to declutter your home:

1. Give yourself 5 solid minutes. Leo Babauta at Zen Habits recommends 18 different 5-minute decluttering tips. Pick one today that sounds appealing. Or better yet, pick a random number 1-18, read the specific tip, and commit 5 minutes to completing it.

2. Give away one item each day. Colleen Madsen at 365 Less Things gives away one item each day. Over the past several years, she has experienced quite a transformation simply reducing her stuff one day at a time.

3. Fill one trash bag. Early in our journey towards simplicity, one of my favorite decluttering techniques was to grab a simple large trash bag and see how quickly I could fill it. While much of what I collected was trash, this could also be used to fill a bag for Goodwill.

4. Try the Oprah Winfrey Closet Hanger Experiment. While this idea didn’t originate with Oprah, she was the one to help give it notoriety. To identify wardrobe pieces to clear out, hang all your clothes with the hangers in the reverse direction. After you wear an item, return it to the closet with the hanger facing the correct direction. After six months, you’ll have a clear picture of which clothes you can easily discard. This experiment could also be applied to a number of clutter areas in your home (cleaners, toys, linens, tools, hobbies and craft items).

5. Make a list. Dana Byers recommends creating a list of places/areas in your home to declutter beginning with the easiest… which doesn’t sound all that creative until she adds this note, “When you’re done with one area, STOP.” This list could be made as easy or difficult as you desire based upon what areas of your home make up the list (drawers/closets/rooms). And could easily fit into any schedule.

6. Take the 12-12-12 Challenge. A simple task of locating 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate, and 12 items to be returned to their proper home can be a really fun and exciting way to quickly organize 36 things in your house. On more than one occasion, this challenge actually became a quick competition between my wife and me… and your kids don’t have to be too old to participate as well.

7. Change your perspective. Unclutterer offers a powerful approach to decluttering when they offer a number of strategies to help you change your perspective and begin to notice some clutter you may have missed. Among their ideas: take photos of your house, invite over a toddler, or ask the boss to meet in your office. With all of the examples, the hope is to cause you to see your home in a new light.

8. Experiment with numbers. For example, Courtney Carver invented Project 333 to challenge people to wear only 33 articles of clothing for 3 months. If 33 articles of clothing seems too little, adjust the rules as you need by picking a new number. The important thing is to challenge yourself to live with less and see what you learn from the experiment.

9. Use your imagination. Psychology Today recommends using your imagination to help declutter objects that may seem difficult to remove. Try asking yourself unique questions like, “If I was just buying this now, how much would I pay?” These creative techniques may prove to be very helpful for some with difficulties removing unneeded clutter.

10.The Four-Box Method. As we first set out on our journey to minimalism, this was the technique most often used in our home. As I set out to declutter an area, I brought four boxes: trash, give away, keep, or relocate. Each item in every room was placed into one of the four categories. No item was passed over. Each was considered individually. Some projects took an hour… others took days or weeks. But the technique and principles remained the same.

No matter what you choose to help you get started – whether it be one of these ten or one of countless others – the goal is to take your first step with excitement behind it. There is a beautiful world of freedom and fresh breath hiding behind that clutter. How you remove it is up to you.


Special thanks to each of you who purchased a copy of Simplify: 7 Guiding Principles to Help Anyone Declutter Their Home and Life. We are excited to announce it recently debuted as the #1 Self-Help book on Amazon. 

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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  1. says

    This is so fun!
    I’ve been blogging just for the fun, inspired by your site and a few others. I love your light hearted posts and then those like todays’ that give depth. Several times I refer to your site from my site. And then today, up pops a ping from some anonymous person connecting your site to my site. I love tracking your progress and the inspirations that come, or the memory jogs. “That’s right, I remember that stage of decluttering!!” Keep writing . . . you inspire so many of us to stay focused.

    Anne (www.minimalisthomeschooler.com)

  2. Michelle says

    Always such quality advice here- thanks for that. Any word for those of us who feel like minimizing and de-cluttering are actually stealing time? I find myself constantly looking for “one more thing” to clear out. We are by no means hoarders and I often wonder how I can still have stuff to part with (I guess 3 kids, homeschool, families who pass stuff down…)!! I am actually making myself take a break from it because I get too caught up and I want to actually value what I am trying to create in our home. Thanks!

    • Britt says

      @michelle, YES! I agree with you. I love the idea of minimalism and feel peace in a clutter free home but I do find myself dedicating more mental energy on it than I want.

  3. says

    Putting “trash” and “throw it away” first is a bit upsetting. Donating should be first and then recycling. Then hopefully there’s very little left to put into a landfill.

    • lisa says

      @ Caroline, for some people they really have too much stuff and limited resources. Donating and recycling take time, transportation, and energy some do not have.

      • Annette says

        Thank you, Lisa! I have a huge number of books to declutter, and have tried to take them to charity shops in the past. But I don’t have a car and don’t often go to the places where they are. And with so much to declutter, I’ve realised that it will take too much time to try and sell them. So I’ve started throwing them away instead (for recycling). It feels awful, but you’ve confirmed what I’ve been trying to tell myself – that I don’t have the time or resources to do anything else and I might as well accept that.

        • Diane Porter says

          Could you donate any of the books to your local library? As an avid reader – it almost hurts to hear you are throwing them away. I appreciate the efforts to declutter – goodness knows we all have too much stuff- but for the books – see if you can find them a new home before you just pitch them.

          • Beth says

            Depending on your books.. a library may not want them! Some libraries have a “friends” bookstore, or an annual book sale, and this is where many of the books end up. It really depends on the quality of the books if it’s worth donating. Frankly, some libraries will end up recycling some of the books they get themselves–but it really depends on the library. Check out your own local library’s donation policy, as they are all different. They may be VERY happy to get them at some, and not so much at others.

          • Wendy says

            Do you think if you made a few phone calls that some grateful people would come pick up your free books? I’m thinking women’s crisis centers, small libraries, groups for fundraising yard sales to name a few. You can look up https://www.freecycle.org
            in your area or one of the many yard sale or buy, sell and trade FB pages for where you live.

        • Thyera says

          Put them in boxes with a free sign on it and place it on the curb…someone will surely take them….some charities and thrift stores will pick up your items (for free). It is a shame to waste books..any books..even to recycling.

        • Brandi says

          Where I live, we have a free-cycle group on Facebook. Just put a picture of the item and where it can be picked up and it’s a first come , first serve idea. sure helps for not having to throw away OR have to deliver, etc.

        • annie says

          Why not take a book to an appointment or on your way somewhere and drop off a book? How fun it is to be sitting around a place and find a book left behind. Random acts of kindness….Have a great day!

        • Mo says

          Have you tried to ask a friend or family member if they could do a favor and drop them off at a library or donate them for you..? Books can always be reused or recycled! Let’s all do our part to keep what we can out of landfills

        • L Kinsell says

          betterworldbooks.com will pay you to send your old books to them which they sell or donate to literacy projects. They have drop boxes in some cities.

        • Amy says

          Maybe you could just put them out front or somewhere close to where you live with a FREE sign on them…or post on Freecycle…you never know someone might them…just another thought!

        • Sam Owen says

          My sister had the same situation. Tons of books and no takers and no vehicle to travel in to take them anywhere. She took 10 books at a time in a bag and went to the park and made a sign that said free books. She said they were usually
          gone in 30 minutes. She sold a few of the best ones to a local book store. You only get a few dollars but you still aren’t putting them in a landfill. She gave some to a friend who worked at a prison for the prison library. It took time but she said she ended up with only about 20 books no one wanted and she took those to a paper recycling center.
          Now that she has decluttered her life she has a library membership and seldom buys a book. If she does buy one she likes to get the paper back edition because it’s cheaper and when she’s done with it if she doesn’t have a friend that wants to read it she saves it and removes the pages and tapes them together to wrap presents. Her gifts are always a big hit just because of the way she wraps them!

        • Ellen says

          There are books, and then there are books. YOU are free to interpret which are good usable books, and which are old, yellowed, bent/broken, and and generally ready for the trash. I’m a librarian and even I know when a book is ready for disposal. Just because something was a published book doesn’t mean it should or will last forever (aka paperbacks). Go forth and purge as you see fit!

      • says

        Good morning Lisa! I wanted to add another suggestion to the list of the ones already mentioned: Donate your books to a local jail or prison. Local libraries might be a bit “picky” about what books they’ll take but I promise you the local correctional facilities will not be! Libraries are usually not funded behind the walls and inmates are desperate for a way to pass the time. If you can’t get them there, contact a local ministry or church and ask for their help. I bet they’ll be glad to do it! blessings, linda

        • G says

          The correctional facilities I’ve worked in will NOT accept books unless they’re sent in by the publisher. Books cannot be adequately inspected without destroying them and could too easily be used to introduce contraband.

      • Fiona Cee says

        So sending good stuff to landfill is the answer? I think not. Ask for help. Some orgs may collect if you have some useful things. Have a yard sale. Don’t throw out good things.

      • says

        I have become more and more keen on the idea of being a tortoise vs the hare (see Fable). If you brought a bag of books to the local library or the a thrift store etc.. little by little over time you would feel like you did what you wanted to do (donate) and you would feel proud of the accomplishment, AND you could feel good each time you donate … spread the joy and good feelings over time. Anyhow, this is just a suggestion as a possible strategy to eat the elephant one step at a time. (yes, I know another animal analogy) :) ..

      • Hannah Blessing says

        The Salvation Army will come by with a truck to pick up any usable items from your home. You can call them or schedule a pick-up time online.

    • Lara says

      The majority of the stuff I run in to as a single mom of four kids is trash. Trash from food packages, trash from tearing up that school project they did not like, trash from the puzzle missing 1/3 its pieces, the shoes that look like they went through a shredder, the shirt that had more paint on it than the paper, etc. So yes, for me most is trash. Even though I do donate as much as I can to library, shelter, schools, etc.

    • Hilda says

      It’s nice to be Green and to be generous. But the reality is that all that takes effort. When I am working to remove excess belongings from my home, I want it out immediately and not have it hanging around some more. I have a friend who told me “what a waste”. My response: “It’s not a waste. It’s my PROPERTY”. Seriously folks, you paid for it, don’t guilt-trip over doing what you want to do with it.

  4. says

    Great tips. I have been using the tip of throwing one item out a day. What I have found interesting are a few things. 1) I don’t miss the things I throw out and sometimes cannot even remember what they were. 2) cleaning up has become quicker 3) it gets easier too move things on as the year goes on and 4) there is a joy giving items to people who need them and you are also happy offloading them.

  5. says

    Great tips!
    If I could just add one more…..

    Place toss baskets in areas that have the most clutter to encourage family members to toss unwanted items DAILY; then empty those baskets each time they get full…..toss, sell, donate, etc.

    • Karen says

      Just had a yard sale this weekend after using this idea for the last year. Set one hamper next to the laundry and one in the bedroom, and when we found anything we didn’t want/need it went in the hamper. When the hampers were full I sorted out “trash” and put “sell/donate” items into a sturdy bin in the garage. When I went to post the yard sale announcement we had 5 (!) foot locker sized bins full of clothes and household knick knacks, and I honestly couldn’t remember 90% of what was in them! Already put one hamper back (sold the other!), and have started again for spring.
      It’s easier for me to make one quick decision at a time (ugh, these pants don’t fit, into the hamper not the dresser) instead of doing a major purge/sort. And one thing at a time can really add up!

  6. says

    Joshua, thank you so much for these simple yet powerful suggestions.
    I live in Denmark, I never watch Oprah and I don’t know anything about feng shui or decluttering, we just call it a mess, though some of us think of it as an organized mess. I feel that exact way, although I have piles of crap, I still know where every little thing is placed, like, to the left of the screwdrivers, behind the black box and under the bag of rubber bands :) though this makes perfectly sense to me, people seem confused when they come to my home and my children do not share my brilliant sense of overview and/or memory. They tend to loose their things quickly and not to care for things for very long and I think it all comes down to my being a mess. It seems I have a lot to work on, and since I read this blog – and due to the fact that we danes are considered the happiest people on earth – I shall do so with a smile.

    • Paula says

      You sound like a fun & lovely person. I too am a mess. 8 kids and homeschooling was always my excuse. Today, the kids are off to college and I’m done schooling them…I’m still a mess. I easily get overwhelmed with trying to declutter…so many things that need tossing, but I always come back to “what if I need it.” And the sad thing is, I just threw something away the other day that I did need. So there’s a bit of negative reinforcement for me. On the other hand, what I threw out was of no consequence monetarily, so maybe that’s the positive reinforcement I needed!
      I struggle with finding a place for everything…I have a house over 3500 sq. ft but the builder didn’t put any storage in. What a struggle…I’m definitely looking for built in storage in my next house!
      At any rate, we all have our way of doing things. Not everyone can appreciate the genius in our method, but I am still trying to learn and change. Thank God He made us all different…it would be awful to live in a world where we were all the same.

      Now that I found the blog (looking to declutter my house) I better get to it…I just felt the need to encourage you this day. Cheers from Texas!

    • Susie says

      I work full time and have one kid and one Husband that makes more extra work than my kid does. I’m planning 1 item to toss or give each day and 10 Items on my days off:) ……….. Wish me lots of luck!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. says

    These are great tips! The next time I declutter my closet I’m going to try the 12-12-12 challenge! I am one of five and we are all living at home so this should be fun…

  8. Vera says

    My favorite method is not deciding what to take OUT, but, rather, deciding what to put IN. I completely empty a drawer, shelf or closet, then put what I really want in there. (It’s much easier for me to choose what I do want.) I find that deciding what to do with the remainder is easy then, maybe because I’ve already demoted those items in my mind.

  9. pboo says

    Thank you everyone! I love learning little tips that go a long way.

    I will share a favorite of mine:

    The TIP: One way I keep it REALLY fun and ALWAYS under five minutes? I play a segment of the “William Tell Overture” while I do a last-minute tidy-up!

    The DETAILS: My college roommate and I, typically in a hurry, too busy to clean,” decided to take ONLY 30 seconds JUST BEFORE leaving our dorm for classes to “tidy up,” (even this choice of words felt MUCH easier than “clean up”!)

    We’d say, “Ready…?” and we would empty our arms of books, purses, sweaters, etc., and “do the tune” –(“dadut dadut dadut dut dut…”) — together, out loud, and for about 30 seconds, we’d tidy up the most conspicuously out-of-place items. We’d end up laughing as we gathered up our things and marched off to class.

    The outcome? We saw how a tiny bit of time could make a HUGE difference when we were FOCUSED, TIME-LIMITED, and KEPT IT FUN!

    The reward? Upon our return to our humble dorm room, we’d almost gasp at first sight when we opened the door! Like at a hotel: “Sweet! The MAID was here!”

    The other reward is how this little extra effort continues to bless me through the years and phases of my life. It’s one of those priceless “gifts to me” that is still fun, still free, and always pays a big dividend for my little time invested!

  10. says

    I do not like clutter! I have found 2 things, okay 3 things, help me de-clutter and stay that way (nope, make that 4):

    1. Move. Across country or overseas. You don’t want to lug all that stuff around!
    2. Move – into a smaller space.
    3. After a trip and you’ve collected “more,” get rid of some of your old junk (especially if visiting mom and dad’s house, and sadly, you still have stuff there).
    4. Knowing people who need it or are less fortunate than you. This keeps your life and stuff in perspective. Plus, you can bless someone with something you do not need but they do.

    Thanks for the blog!

  11. Glenda Herdman says

    I have already applied some of these. I regularly tidy out my drawers and from time to time I get rid of old and worn out clothing and underwear. T shirts and sheets are good for cutting up into cleaning rags and also for using with varnishing and painting. I still have a way to go but every day I like to pick up at least one object or piece of clothing and decide whether to get rid of it or keep it.

  12. Tracey says

    Re: ANNETTE-Books. Whilst on holiday in NZ I saw a ‘street library’ that a home owner had set up near their front gate. A weatherproof box with a clear front, that people could take or leave books for others. Pretty cool idea I thought, helps to foster a sense of community.

  13. says

    Wow, I never even heard of the Oprah Winfrey Closet Hanger Experiment before! Because your clothes all appear wearable in the heat of the moment, it’s hard to tell which items haven’t adorned your beautiful body for a while. My method is to go through each item and ask two simple questions: 1) Is this still my style? 2) If I saw this in the mall right now, would I still buy it? Your method seems better since we all know action speaks louder than anything.

    • Tina says

      I have been giving away a bag a week for quite a while now. I realized I had enough art and craft supplies for the rest of my life so I donated a big bag to the park district and a preschool and still have plenty left. I was given 3 big bags of buttons which I will wash and pass on to the preschool. I think the idea is not even to let the objects settle in and get comfortable.

    • Irene says

      Getting rid of clothes is a problem for me, as my life is in a period of transition. I used to wear pretty much everything I had, even if it was only once a year. For now I don’t have the income I used to have so I hardly go out thus don’t wear the fancy clothes and shoes, but believe it won’t always be that way. So I am loathe to get rid of them.

      I already took two boxes of books to my local library who said they’d use them or sell them. I knew I didn’t need them so I don’t mind what they do with them and I don’t want to know!

      However my biggest problem is my boyfriend’s clutter. I rented out my house and moved to his small place (to save his bacon financially) and he hadn’t made any room for me, in fact he barely had room to house his own clutter. Yes, I am angry about this. He’s not bad at throwing out junk once he gets started, but getting him on the case is like pulling teeth. Smothering him with a pillow is tempting but not a humane option, so any practical suggestions are welcome.

    • Sydney says

      You couldn’t be more right, Ashley! I’m from a military family. We moved often. As Shannon above said: “overseas” — even better! … as motivation to declutter by necessity. The only problem I see is this: people who move from rental houses and apartments and who don’t care if they get their security deposit back often leave their clutter (trash) and worse behind. It sort of defeats the kharmic purpose.

  14. says

    It’s really amazing, the 10 creative ways to declutter your home. These ways are quite good enough to clean one’s house. However, one’s must have the patient as well as determination to clean the house. In reality putting trash and throw it away first is a bit disturbing. Now you can get friendly trash services in Black foot for cleaning your home accordingly.

  15. Celt says

    To all those throwing away perfectly good stuff. Some charity shops will pick up. Worth a try before adding to landfill?

  16. Billy says

    I started pairing down my stuff years ago and it’s been the best, most awesome thing I ever did ever. I don’t know if I’m a minimalist but I live clutter free, I’m organised now and no longer mindlessly consume. It’s a way better way to live. This goes as far as freeing your mind up too. For example, books, I donated all of them, gone except 2 reference books I still refer too, kept em because I use them. Oh and I had a copy of the bible and Koran, they went straight in the trash(recycle bin). No point in cluttering up other peoples minds with fantasy. Another form of minimalism, freeing your mind of all those stories other people want you to believe. This includes other stories like ” commercials”!! Be free people.

    • CJ says

      Just so you know, this is what faith in what the Bible says has done for me:

      1. Comforted me when I overheard my eye doctor tell my mother I’d need an eye transplant at 14 years old. I didn’t have surgery, and I see 20/30 without glasses, praise God!

      2. I had gallbladder disease – 5 surgeons in 2 states said I’d need to have it removed. I was INSTANTANEOUSLY healed, during a gallbladder attack, when I was prayed over in the glorious name of Jesus. I had gallbladder attacks 3-4 times a week for nearly a year. Since the moment I was prayed over, I haven’t had another gallbladder attack. That was 5 years ago.

      3. I have joy and peace. I’ve had childhood issues and adult heartaches, but God healed my broken heart.

      The Bible may be to you a fantasty, but to me, it is the power of God to save. God IS so awesome! :-)

  17. Wolfgang says

    Love the four-box method, I can’t wait to try that one. When I first read it i read it as the fox-box method, so that’s what I will probably always think of it as, haha

  18. says

    Fantastic website. Lots of helpful information here! It helps a lot in giving me ideas on how to declutter my home! I especially like #6 and #9! All in all, I very much like your article. Thank you for sharing

  19. lydia ackerman says

    One sad but true fact a great way to declutter is to find out you have bed bugs (ICIKE) then you can really go through your closet and have to decide if you are ever going to wear this outfit and is it really worth $$ to have all the the junk clean and do you still need the towels and sheets you have since you were a bride over 20 years ago get rid of them and use the ones you bought occastion you also can free up that closest space they have been taking up. You have to be careful where you send this stuff, but lots of time the people who take care of the bed bugs know how to get rid of the junk you don”t want to give them to anyone else Lydia

    • Misch says

      That certainly is true — I have a good friend who just “decluttered” her house due to bedbugs. I hope I don’t have to use that technique!

  20. Pam says

    Kids are in college and we have downsized 50%. I have boxes of framed photos that were on shelves all over our previous home. I’m wrestling with how to get rid of them!

    • Kay says

      Scan the photos, and get a digital photo frame. You can still display all of those precious pictures and memories, but in one frame!

  21. joseph says

    De cluttering will probably be a process that will take the rest of my life.
    We have already had two garage sales, sold lots on flea bay and Gumtree and my personal favorite… filling up garbage bags to take to the op shop.

    I’m only 26, how did this happen.
    I want to empty the kitchen so bad but my wife won’t let me lol.

    • Getting There says

      Don’t get discouraged! I’m 24 and have been working at becoming minimalist for 3 years. In three years we have moved 3 times (my husband and I plus a roomate) and each time premove I think I’m a minimalist. Then I find myself thinking. Where did all this stuff come from? It takes time! You will get rid of stuff 3 months from now that you decided to keep today. Its a lifestyle choice not a one and done senario. Im getting close and dream of living in 200 sq ft. (We are at 800 sq ft now and it seems huge.)

  22. ralf says

    If you want to buy something, make space. Remove (sell, donate, throw away) double the volume of what you want to buy.
    Put your clutter on display. If you hide it you’ll just forget about it.
    I have a clutter basket in the bedroom. When it’s full, I get the bus and bring those clothes do a charity.
    That frees up space in the living room for more box files. Still have two boxfiles in the office waiting to be scanned and pdfed.

  23. Barbara Hert says

    I love reading all of these, they help with extra encouragement and to help me to see how far I’ve came in the process of becoming a rational minimalist!!!!
    One area I need HELP!! I am an artist/designer I have paints, tools, material, wood , jewelry etc how do I declutter this? It’s my business & I want to dump it all but ….
    Thank you for your ministry!!

  24. jak says

    I totally agree with your commitment to minimize. Only thing overlooked: QUIT ACQUIRING. STOP BUYING for the instant thrill and buy NEEDED only items. If it does not have a purpose, no matter how cheap or on sale it is, it probably is the wrong reason to buy it.. Amazing what this does to your budget.

  25. Dawn McDaniel-Smith says

    Since my sister and sold our condo and my mother moved in with us into a beautiful ranch home my desire has been to declutter. At first the garage was filled to the ceiling and we also had a storage unit. I. Threw away over 40 bags of trash before we even moved. My mom did the same thing, but still we were drowning in stuff. So, I made a pledge that I would get rid of at least 40 bags or boxes a year. Doing that wouldn’t overwhelm me. Well over the last eight years I’ve met my goal and some years exceeded it. Where am I? Still working at my goal and there is still more to go, but my hope is that by the time I’m old and can’t do it anymore we will have given most of our stuff away. Dawn McDaniel-Smith

  26. Catherine says

    Thank you so much for your wonderful ideas. My husband and I lost our Daughter, Lakisha at 31 to cancer in November 2012. Since that time, I have been consistently “dejunking” as I called it. Lakisha was our only child and since losing her, I learned more than anything that the “most important things in life aren’t things”. I spend time looking at each room in my house and ask myself these questions. As a mother, so much of what I had, I expected to give to my daughter one day. Now all of those things are just “stuff” that weighs me down constantly. I cannot even count how many car loads I taken to Goodwill.
    I am torn about one thing in particular, and that is photos. right now, I have one wall in my family room that is a collage of photos of our small family. I also have numerous pictures of our daughter at various ages throughout the house, on tables, shelves and walls. I don’t know if creating more wall photo collages in certain areas by using the photos we have on tables and shelves is the way to go. I also have about 10 photo boxes that I am slowly working on getting into photo albums, but as you can imagine, this can be a heart wrenching task. So I accept that that this particular task may take longer that I imagined.

    I also used to scrapbook, but since her death, I cannot bring myself to sit and do this and now I am stuck with hundreds of dollars in scrapbooking supplies, etc…

    Any thoughts, suggestions would be appreciated.

    • Mandy says

      Maybe a digital photo album. I keep a room of only happy current memories and another with loved ones that have passed on. I am sorry for your loss. I have one 8yo daughter xx

  27. says

    Thank you so much for the de-cluttering tips. I am a fairly organized person but am also a person who likes to hold onto more than I really need.

  28. Cyndi says

    This is one of the best pages I’ve come across on this subject … I’ve been doing my research, and this is the one that I’ll be referring to again and again to simplify and declutter my home and life. Thank you!!

  29. says

    I don’t recall if it was you or Leo or someone else, but along the way someone made the recommendation to figure out the cost per square foot in your house.
    Figure out how much you pay per month in mortgage, insurance, taxes (even utilities) and then divide that by the square footage in your home.
    From there it may be easier to make a value proposition on whether to keep something.
    If I figure out each square foot in my home costs $1.50 per month, I can start thinking, is it really worth $1.50 per month for me to store all these DVDs?

  30. Marilyn says

    Four things:
    1. Prioritize: Is there a better use of my time than dealing with stuff? I scrapbook, and every time I buy more supplies (which I am going to stop doing until I have used what I have), I reorganize all of my supplies so that the new items are in exactly the “proper” place where they would be if I had bought all of my supplies at the same time – which can take 2-3 days. Yes, my craft area is neat and organized, but a better use of my time would have been to go and visit family or do volunteer work. So if I can’t or won’t declutter something, I at least try not to be as obsessive-compulsive in how I organize it.

    2. I have had a hard time disposing of my children’s school projects, their pinewood derby cars, etc.. Now I take pictures of them, which I download to my computer, to preserve my memories and am able to throw the actual objects away. Same thing for my children’s art, essays in their own handwriting or noteworthy test results – I find that if I scan them into my computer, I can dispose of the real thing. And I’m not even going to feel guilty about not decluttering these scans from my computer at some point. How much does a 16GB flash drive cost, and how much space does it require to store?

    3. I have given my children some of their inheritances in advance. I never used my china, crystal, or silverware anymore, so rather than store it (along with a lot of similar things), I have given it to my children who can use and enjoy it now. Same goes for Christmas decorations. Our family had a tradition of giving each child a special ornament each Christmas. Now I have given the children their own ornaments and disposed of the vast majority of our other Christmas decorations. It isn’t like we still need to decorate the house like we did when our children were little (see #1 above about priorities.)

    4. Once our children are out of our home and”permanently” settled (for instance, not still students), they have to take all of their storage from our house. Then they can decide if it worth the time and/or space to keep.

  31. Christine A. says

    Some thrift stores will come to your place to pick up your donations. Some individuals will pick up the things you don’t want. Just communicate with them.

  32. Christine A. says

    Number four on the list above would be easier to do if individuals left the hangers the way they are to begin with and then after wearing an article of clothing, hanging it on a hanger turned the reverse way.

  33. Christine A. says

    For me the hardest parts of decluttering are staying motivated and having enough energy. My worst clutter is the papers. It seems everyone mails me papers, and sometimes when I attend events, I am given papers to take home. They think the info they are giving me is very important to have.

  34. Jane says

    I am not familiar with digital frames and how they work.
    Do you scan your photos to a disk. And does the disk go in the frame to show all your photos?

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