What are your best de-cluttering tips?
Emmeline Westin
March 12, 2014 in Design Dilemma
Most of us admit that we have too much stuff in our homes. Hands up, who doesn’t save old battery
chargers, paperwork or clothes we no longer fit into, because one day they might come to good
use? I certainly do!

I recently moved out of my flat and found an astonishing amount of old mobile phones, exam papers and a defunct hair dryer.

There are plenty of people like myself who want to clear out their cluttered homes, but just don’t know where to start. So I’m turning to you, what are you best de-cluttering methods?

Please share any before and after photos and funny de-cluttering anecdotes are most welcome.

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Victoria Harrison
I find a motivational photo helps when i'm doing a spring clean or trying to declutter my house! This image is motivating me right now...
March 12, 2014 at 4:14AM     
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All small unnesasary (
March 12, 2014 at 4:20AM   
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March 12, 2014 at 4:22AM   
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Something comes in, something else MUST leave.

Shredder nearby as I'm opening mail, recycle bin next to it for all the junk. Bills get paid ASAP then shredded.
March 12, 2014 at 9:13AM     
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I am in the process of sorting and packing for a move - in the fall so I am getting a head start! Here's a tip I got from the flylady.com website.

27 things. Get a bag and quickly find 27 things to throw out.

That's it! So like every garbage day now I hand out plastic bags and say go find 27 things you want to throw out...then out it goes.

I am also a fan of "deal with it now" like tiamay. I deal with the mail the minute it's brought into the house. Otherwise it takes over the kitchen island and I hate that.
March 12, 2014 at 9:20AM   
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Emmeline Westin
Love that idea jn344! That will be my approach the next time I need a clear-out. I suppose you don't have a very cluttered home then? :)
March 12, 2014 at 10:04AM   
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Well, heh. I tend to keep things I shouldn't so the last couple years I have been trying to keep more stuff moving out the door than in! If I was the only one here I would be in better shape...or...hmmm.
March 12, 2014 at 11:32AM     
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Signed up for ebill so no hard copies come into the house. Also signed up for online banking. No more band statements in the mail. Cards are displayed for one week and are then thrown out. Once a year I go through closets and drawers. Anything not worn in the last year is put in a bag for goodwill. That includes shoes. Worn towels are ripped up to use as rags for dusting and cleaning. Magazines are circulated to friends who In turn circulate their magazines to me. Once I've gone through them they are put in paper recycle bin. I could go on and on.
March 12, 2014 at 11:28PM     
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Emmeline Westin
Good point artperson, towels can look a bit tired after a while, but that doesn't mean they can't be used for something else! Donating clothes and shoes is also a good one - it's such a liberating feeling when you get rid of stuff you don't actually need.
March 13, 2014 at 3:40AM   
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Keep a 'rag bag' at all times for discarded old socks (great for polishing furniture,) panty hose (great for tying up garden plants,) etc.
March 13, 2014 at 4:29AM   
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Closet Experts
If you get catalogs by mail, file them. When you get a catalog, file it and recycle the previous one.
March 13, 2014 at 4:38AM     
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The Classy Home
First of all, Congratulation for selecting the most useful subject.
There are many subjects, that, interest many, but ignored by most. De-cluttering is such a subject.
Though, there are no hard and fast rules regarding de-cluttering, but by following below mention steps you can do it.
First of all, collect all the useless, unnecessary, outdated items that are no longer in use.
Second, put it in a one place.
Third, once again re-check and separate all the useless items.
Fourth, now classify it, there are many things that need to be thrown out, there are many things that need to be repaired, there are many things that can be helpful to someone, like your old clothes, old books etc.
Fifth, throw out most useless items, repair the repairable items & donate the useful things like your old clothes, old books to the needy people.
By, following above mention steps you can de-clutter your home, not only that, you can do some charity work too. It not only makes your home clear, but at the same time it purifies your soul too.
March 13, 2014 at 6:52AM   
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I have many thoughts on this, but the bottom line is to focus on one spot at a time and commit to tossing/donating/selling at least 5 things per day for a month. Re one spot - start with something small and unintimidating like your medicine cabinet. Next day bedside table, or TV cabinet, or coat closet. Etc. It doesn't have to be intimidating and you will pick up momentum! @216Sharon on twitter
March 13, 2014 at 7:00AM     
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Erica Garza
Honestly? I watch HOARDERS on A&E. Nothing motivates me more like the idea of ending up like that. Also during a recent move into a new home the rule was that if I didn't LOVE it, then it stayed in the garage in a "maybe not" pile. After 3 months those items are now ending up on Craigslists for sale and they're turning into cash = savings :) Things that I feel I can donate end up at the thrift stores. After being an AVID follower of DIY sites I am finding SO MANY are into the PUT CRAP IN EVERY SPOT THERE IS just for the sake of making/creating/DIY something. It just ends up making for a "pretty clutter." So I am hoping the trend goes the OTHER Way...the UNCLUTTERED DIYER is my goal!

oh and making $500 bucks recently off all that "stuff" sure is a good motivation! ;)
March 13, 2014 at 7:04AM     
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Emmeline Westin
Great advice guys, maybe we've inspired some clear outs this weekend!
March 13, 2014 at 10:03AM   
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I'm trying to downsize (from a big 4000 sq. ft. home to a 925 sq. ft. condo) and one of my tips is for books, Amazon.com will let you trade in your old books for credit on your Amazon account. Alternately you can become a vendor on their website and try to sell the books yourself... I've shipped over 500 books out to Amazon already, and am using my kindle to replace any that I actually want to re-read.
March 13, 2014 at 10:11AM     
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After years of procrastination, I finally organized and de cluttered my overflowing pantry. I was worried I wouldn't be able to maintain it, but after six months of use it is still just as tidy! It has helped prevent me from over buying (thanks, Costco) and buying duplicates.
March 13, 2014 at 5:15PM     
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Emily Hurley
@Jessica that is a fantastic tip! I had no idea.
March 25, 2014 at 11:15AM   
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I didn't know that, either, Jessica. I recently went through all my books and couldn't believe the number of duplicates. At one point, I found four paperback "Lord of the Flies." I took mine to a second hand shop here-- they pay for some, and the rest they put out for people, for free. But the Amazon route is a good one.

What really helps me is buying those big old contractor trash bags, and then I just go to town. I think you just have to be ruthless. I throw away what no one would want; sometimes I sell on Craigslist; the rest I take to a 'helping hand' type mission place.
March 25, 2014 at 11:24AM   
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