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packing box full of clutter - folders of papers

Uncluttering your home doesn’t need to be difficult or complicated but it does take time and stamina. Usually, just getting motivated to start is the hardest part. Below you’ll find a few helpful tips for uncluttering your home, the first steps!

As you declutter, work through one room at a time in a clockwise direction so you have a system in place. Set up a decluttering station using a few baskets, boxes, or other containers you have on hand. Keep it simple and label each container with the final action you will take: Keep, Trash, Sell, or Donate. The “Keep” bin is only for the items you love, use or need. Designate items as “Trash” if they are broken, worthless, or cannot be recycled. The “Sell’ bin is for consignment, garage sale, or online sale items that you’ll list on something like Nextdoor.com or Facebook Marketplace. Use the “Donate” category to give away clean, working items.

When uncluttering your home, ask yourself these questions:

Do I/we:

  • Love and enjoy this?
  • Use this item?
  • Need to hang onto this for legal or financial reasons?
  • Would I [re]purchase this same item?
  • If it’s not working, is it worth fixing?
  • Was it a gift that I’ve kept only because I like/love/care for the giver?
  • Is it worth the space it occupies?
  • Is it worth caring for? (dusting, polishing, insuring, maintaining)
  • Could I/we find it on the internet if I decide to let it go?
  • Could I/we easily borrow it from a friend or neighbor?
  • Does this suit my current lifestyle or size or is it more of a “someday, hopefully,” item?
  • Does this suit who I am now, today? (this is an appropriate question to ask if you once collected ___ (fill in the blank) but no longer care for (frogs, spoons, whatever)
  • Does this garment or object project how I want to be seen/known?
  • Do I know what this is for/to? (computer cables, cords, keys)

Here’s a list of the labels to create for boxes, bags, and baskets, or print them using the tab below.

  • Keep
  • Trash
  • Sell
  • Donate
  • Return (to the owner, library, store)
  • Recycle
  • Shred

Create an itemized list of things you’re donating for tax purposes. A timer will help you stay on task + remain focused. Working for a few minutes a day will make a big difference as you begin uncluttering your home.

A related article that others find helpful is all about tracking donations, check it out!

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