Decluttering Tips

By the end of the year I’m hoping to have a good list of handy tips that helped me declutter throughout the year. I’ll add to it from time to time when I’ve discovered something new I’ve found that may help you out too :)

1. How to tell what clothes you don’t wear anymore.

This may seem very simple… but you’re probably lying to yourself. Here’s a tip. Say you have way too many shirts. Take them allllllll out of the drawer/closet/shelf/pile, or whatever you got goin’ on. Yes – all of them, don’t even leave your favourite shirt in there. Take them all out. Put them in a big box/rubbermaid container, whatever. Try to keep them all together. Pick through the pile as you normally would….but here’s the trick. When you put your clean laundry away, put them back into the drawer/closet. By the end of a few months you’ll be able to truly tell what you do and don’t wear. This works with anything! Shirts, pants, kitchen utensils, you name it! Hope this helps :)

2. Sometimes it’s hard to make the decision.

Here’s some helpful questions to ask yourself. Imagine you are moving tomorrow, next week, whatever — in the near future. Is this item worth moving? Is it worth packing into a box, moving it to the truck, is it worth the space in the truck, the gas, carrying it to your new home, unpacking, and finding another spot for it to go? Or will it sit in a pile until the next time you move? If there was a fire in your house, would you go out and replace it? Would you miss it? If the answer is no, then you’re probably ready to let it go, and devote that space to something else — like room! If your excuse is that it doesn’t take up much room, believe me, it all adds up! Let it go :)

3. The fridge declutter tip, how to keep it under control.

This is the absolute worst job. That point where you can’t deny any longer that there is food that you will definitely not be eating in the fridge. It’s either been there for weeks, or for an unknown amount of time and let’s face it, we’re scared. Scared of the smell or what unknown objects or species may have grown on top of what used to be some sort of vegetable, we can only assume.

Okay so maybe it’s never gotten quite THAT bad, but still… seriously, the smell is awful when you leave food in there for too long. I’ve discovered a strategy that works wonders for me! I generally always do my grocery shopping once a week, and right before I go grocery shopping I open the fridge and get rid of anything that’s been lurking in the back of the fridge, because if you don’t, you’re just going to cover it up with even MORE food, and then you will definitely not be eating it. I found this has worked wonders and it’s been quite a while since I’ve been scared of this job. Give it a try! This also prevents coming home and realizing that you already had a bag of carrots, or whatever it may be, and now you’ve got 2 or 3 bags! So make a list, check the fridge, and happy grocery shopping :) (also makes it much faster to put groceries away when you’re not searching for room). Hope you find this tip helpful!

4. If you know you need to declutter but you don’t know where to start… what I do is start with the area that drives me the most crazy. Whether it be a mudroom, a kitchen island, a bedroom closet, whatever it may be, tackle that first and you’ll be amazed how much better you feel!

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10 thoughts on “Decluttering Tips

  1. Hi Carly, i like your blog, the simple, and soft color design, and of course the subject matter!
    #2 suggestion isn’t working for me, because i have a lot of holey, stained clothes that i would NOT pack up & take with me ANYWHERE but they are great for hanging around the house without worrying about getting stained in the kitchen. I have ruined more tops in the kitchen with grease splatters, bleach, food stains etc.I would hate to wear my good street clothes in there. If i move, no i won’t take them with me because i wouldn’t be seen in public wearing them, even though they are ideal for home.
    #1 is a fantastic idea and very timely that i found your post today. Just yesterday i pulled every piece of clothing i own and hung it in the guest room closet and piled the rest on the bed, all the time wondering what was i doing???
    it’s true “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear”
    I LOVE your suggestion to leave them in there and go pick what i want to wear each day and after laundry put that back in my room closet. My guest room has now been named my “Use it or lose it” box (i usually use a box with that name for purges but have discovered i need the whole room for that purpose lately.)
    Now, I’m just hoping no one comes to stay with us overnite, for a few weeks! :-)

  2. This is what I really needed to hear/read: If there was a fire in your house, would you go out and replace it? Would you miss it? If the answer is no, then you’re probably ready to let it go, and devote that space to something else. I am a hoarder and have been trying to get rid of things and this one sentence makes it so much simpler for me, thank you!!

    • So glad to hear it! Love reading comments that these are helpful. I found it helpful as well. A lot of stuff we have is useful… there’s nothing wrong with it, and it’s practical. But that doesn’t mean you are actively using it. Let it go and let someone else use it :). Thanks for your comment!

  3. Hi Carly, i came across this page and read my comment from earlier this year. Something i wanted to add then but didn’t is concerning the holey, worn out clothes …… One reason i hang on to them is for at-home-date-nights with my husband. Once i’m thru with an article of clothing and its nearly in shreds, i wear it and let my hubby RIP IT OFF of me. Let me tell ya, he is an older man but he gets the biggest thrill from doing this and we have had some of our sexiest fun together on these occasions! Try it – your man will love you for it ;-)

    (p.s. washing the clothing with a big dose of clorox several times will help thin the fabric so it rips easier, just be sure to rinse well so it wont smell like clorox).

  4. also, Cleaning the fridge the day before buying groceries is essential. I get caught short some weeks timewise and then have to try to cram new groceries in with old throwaway stuff. I get VERY frustrated with myself when that happens. But my normal routine is to clean the fridge on Tuesday nights, and clear the house of trash, since the trash truck picks up the next morning.

  5. I need to declutter so bad. However, when I pick up an item (mostly all my husbands) and say, ‘you haven’t used this tent in the 15 years I’ve known you’, his comments are always ‘that’s a $200 tent’, or how much ever it cost him that long ago. Doesn’t seem to matter to him that it’s never been used or even looked for in many years! I tried to explain that this is cash just sitting around, but doesn’t seem there’s any convincing him!

    • Hey Shelley! That can be very frustrating. I’ve been very lucky to have a supportive partner in all this, but have certainly had struggles! If you need some extra tips, or to further express your frustrations, or anything I can help with, feel free to email me, carlym.meyer@gmail.com . :). Hope to hear from you!

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