How to get rid of junk and clutter you don’t need… today 46



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Whether you’re considering downsizing or you have just had enough of the junk piling up in your house, it’s always a good time to clear your space.

The home downsizing process is your time to start thinking about “quality versus quantity”, “less is more”, “living with your best stuff”.

We all have a lifetime of collections and memories, but when it comes to downsizing and letting go, you need to decide which items you will keep, give to other family members, donate or sell.

This process can be daunting, overwhelming and sometimes too hard, but it is always rewarding – imagine being able to find things with ease and living without excess baggage!

So, where do you start?

1. Assess your living spaces

Whether you’re just decluttering at home, or moving to a smaller place, it’s a good idea to assess the space you have. A floor plan is handy for this. If you don’t have one, draw a plan yourself. You can measure the spaces and make note of these.

2. Take an inventory

Before you move anything, the first thing to do is take an inventory of your belongings. Ask yourself the hard questions, i.e. “If everything you owned was lost in a fire, what would I replace?”. What items are actually important to you, and what could you live without?

3. Make three lists

Must haves, can live withouts, and things I could replace. Your must haves will stay or go to your new place. Your “live withouts” are the things you could sell, donate, or get rid of entirely. Your “could replace” list should be reserved for things that you could potentially sell and buy something smaller that you’d like, like a smaller TV or smaller couch.

4. Make sure what you keep is really something you can’t live without

It can be hard to distinguish between something you want to keep and something you need to. To determine its necessity, ask yourself is it useful? Do you love it? Does it hold a sentimental value?

5. Do you need to own it? Could you borrow it or rent it when you need it?

Some of us have huge dining tables or even more practical things like bikes. We tend to spend money on things hoping one day it’ll have a use but the reality is, if you haven’t used a big item in the last year or more, consider selling it and only borrowing or renting it when you need it.


6. Take a picture

We all own sentimental items but it can be very hard to let go. If you’re having trouble saying goodbye to something that’s taking up space, you could take a photo of it instead.

7. Pick your storage containers

Square or rectangular pieces make better use of limited space than round containers do. Be practical with how you store items, and make sure what you keep is clearly marked, so it will be used at some stage.


8. Limit your collections

Collections are wonderful but sometimes they can get out of hand. Limit yourself to some key pieces, and store the rest or sell it if it’s no longer an avid collection.

9. Cut down those clothes

We’re all guilty of having far too many clothes, but do we really need them? You can usually get away with around 20 key items, plus accessories. Be lethal when it comes to getting rid of clothes. If you haven’t worn an item in recent memory, it might be time to sell it or donate it.

10. Don’t throw anything in the garbage if you can help it

Recycle, reuse, sell and donate instead. As tempting and easy as it is to throw everything in the bin, be environmentally responsible and find a home for everything.

The benefit of downsizing is that you won’t be an unconscious consumer any longer. Downsizing means keeping it simple and spending less time managing and cleaning stuff! Now you will have more time, money and energy to do the things you love!

Feels good, doesn’t it?

Are you planning on downsizing soon?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I have recently done this. I did room by room. Then went to furniture and nic nacks, then boxes and latly photos. Took me three months but now have only what I need, a small bag of photos, rest divided up with kids and on a memory stick. Dropped off the gear I had been carting around for my kids and voila! Done and happy.☺

    7 REPLY
    • We did this too, send txts told them dumper would be here in 2 weeks {date given} if they wanted their belongings come get it or will go! At first no response but after a count down with 3 days to go they came and collected what they wanted rest went in dumper ,clean garage ,shed and spare cupboards. NO REGRETS

    • Diane Jones It is a known fact that decluttering your belongings is very good for you and makes your life less stressful.:)

    • I’m in the process of rearranging my whole house . Changing rooms over , moving the lounge to the big front room , turning the existing lounge into a large dining room down one end and putting a large recliner , small round coffee table and tall lamp , thus turning it into my reading nook .

    • Then i turned one spare bedroom i to a great craft room with a wall to wall huge work bench , on the other wall triple wardrobes for craft storeage , and the other bedroom into my office with loads of space for a great big chest I’m in the process of upcycling in colors i love . This month is all about change for me , clearing out the past and living in ” my own space ” . With the aspect being relaxation and enjoyment . 😊

  2. I got rid of things in my back shed/ asked the family to take what they wanted….. When I put it out on the curb strangers took most of it … glad it went to a good home no regrets xxxxx

  3. I gave it all away now live a much simpler life it works the less you have to worry about the happier you are

  4. Downsizing is a work in progress for us. Now I have a row of packed boxes which are lining a wall! Obviously if they have stood there for nearly a year,I should be able to throw them out! Why the fear😱

  5. I down sized my life I got rid of a lot ….moved to an apartment never felt better wow I was hanging onto Sou h yuuuuk lol

  6. Funny. ..hubby and I have been doing this…no need for all the excess. Feels so good to purge! (No more “we may need this one day stuff!)

  7. I need this to happen for me desperately but can’t get started !!! Help

    4 REPLY
    • Norma even if each room takes a week , it doesnt really matter , just enjoy the journey it takes you on 🙂

    • If one room at a time seems overwhelming, start with one shelf in one cupboard. Always take pride in what you have already accomplished rather than how much more there is to do. Best of luck!

  8. I have some things I thought people would like and put them on GUMTREE but when I didn’t get any responses I will be delivering all these items to the closest “SAVERS” store which is a store that sells old/much loved items for the Diabetes Association, a very worthwhile cause.

  9. I’m a compulsive hoarder but frequent house moves have forced me to off-load non-essentials regularly. So to off-load the non-essentials, for me, the very BEST method, and most satisfying, is to donate these items to worthy receipients. Sometimes to family members, sometimes to schools but most of all to OpShops. It’s such a great feeling knowing little pieces of my soul will be going to a ‘good home’. I did try selling my stuff once or twice but money gained v effort expended just wasn’t worth it in the end.

  10. At present my husband and I are decluttering, we are going through each room and giving to Red Cross what we no longer need. I believe on passing on things that are longer needed to someone who needs it. When I divorced my first husband I was left with $300.00 in the bank, no home or car as they were all reposed due to my husband’s behaviour. So the children who were four and two and I started again, we stayed at my Mothers first then went into a Housing Commission house. I was put on a small single pension (this had to cover food, clothing and rent) and we had $40.00 food vouchers from St Vinnies each week. Our local baker use to drop bread off in the afternoon for the kids to have for lunch the next day. Each Xmas the kids would get wooden toys from St Vinnies, which they loved. After eight years I met my second husband and he has been a wonderful step-dad, the kids are in there 30’s now and have both studied well and obtained there Masters in the field they love. So because of all the help from Red Cross and St Vinnies whenever we have a declutter the first thing my daughter and I do is to pass it on so if there is a family out there in need we liked to think they will do well.

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