Hoarding 101: The Benefits of Decluttering Your House

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I read somewhere that someone’s New Years resolution was to “get rid of something they don’t need every day.” That sure beats the “I want to lose 8747 pounds,” or “I want to win American Idol,” that I normally see on blogs this time of year. I like setting myself up for failure by placing unrealistic expectations on myself as much as the next guy, so I decided that I was gonna do it. No, not win American Idol (I’m too old), but try to get rid of one thing every day for a whole year.

 

Why would I agree (in my head) to do such a ridiculous thing?

 

First, the more I get rid of, the more I can find use for the important things in my life. I don’t know how many times I’ve gone into my closet, become disgusted by the clutter, and walked out, whatever I was looking for completely forgotten. If I can manage to somehow get rid of all the excess stuff, I can focus my time and energy — and, most importantly, money – upon not replacing it because I’ve forgotten I already own it. I’ll use THAT excuse to explain why I currently own 6 copies of Britney Spears’s new CD.

 

I know that in my quest to purge my house, I’m going to come across things, gently used things, that I can find a good home for. There’s very little more satisfying than dropping a gigantic pile of good stuff off to the charity I support, knowing that each item will be used by someone else. I love that feeling.

 

I’m sure that some of the things that I find to purge, I’ll sell. Ebay. Craig’s List. My blog. There are tons of places I can happily sell some of the stuff I no longer need. The extra cash in my pocket, no matter how nominal it is, will be nice. Perhaps I can buy myself an actual treat — although it won’t be anything I have to store. That sorta defeats the purpose of the project.

 

Things I can’t donate or sell, I’ll try and exchange. There are tons of great sites out there that allow you to swap things with other people on the site. Listia is one that I’ve heard of — although I’ve not tried it…YET. I plan to become intimately familiar with all the ways that I can get rid of my extra stuff.

 

Mostly, though, I’m just excited that I’ll finally have the opportunity to focus on all the awesome stuff I already own. So the Great Purge of 2012 (did I just type that number?) begins.

 

What about you? How do YOU get rid of excess stuff? Any tips for me?

 

 

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  1. AmandaMagee

    3 years ago

    Awesome ideas! I read once that there is an approach to living where you move 27 things a day. When we begin to live in a way that has us considering what we have, what we need and how we can give, we net so much!

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  2. jana0926

    3 years ago

    Ugh. I need to purge. I try to fill a trash bag of broken stuff every few months from the kid’s playroom. And give away stuff that we don’t use or need.

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  3. www.lostinidaho.me

    3 years ago

    I’m always reassessing my stuff. I have a schedule set up, where I evaluate something quarterly and throw unused sh*t away. This quarter it’s my closet. Last quarter was my home office, and trinkets I don’t care for.

    I’m still cluttered, but it keeps me in check. Best o luck!!

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  4. SarahBeeC

    3 years ago

    Purged a hugely huge amount with the move but I’ve been informed we still have a way to go to fit everything into our much smaller new residence. I’d not heard of the swapping site. That may be a really great resource for us!

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  5. dawn.everard

    3 years ago

    I like the one thing a day idea. It’s less scary to take it slow, and you’ll miss those things less than if you mass cleared out.

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  6. BakingSuit

    3 years ago

    I’m working on it this weekend…lets see how it goes. Good luck with your quest!

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  7. sandsys

    3 years ago

    I keep a bag in my closet into which I drop things for the local second hand shop. When it gets full, I drop it off. It makes purging so much easier. Since I’ve been downsizing me as well as my stuff it sometimes gets batches of clothing that is now too big for me. I hope someone is going to appreciate all those sports bras that went into the bag yesterday.

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  8. FromTracie

    3 years ago

    I love the thought of getting rid of one thing each day. fabulous.

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  9. kristinebrite

    3 years ago

    I try to reuse or repurpose. I don’t have much stuff to begin with though, so I think it’s easier for me.

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  10. Crystal.Ritchie

    3 years ago

    This is what I need to do. I have too much stuff. My husband will be a road blocker, though – he’s a bit of a hoarder. “We might use that eventually!”

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  11. ErinInFL

    3 years ago

    Yeah, I think this is something I need to do. Living in tehe South, we have no basement now. This is a good way to do it.

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  12. JHBtook

    3 years ago

    Like sandys, I keep a bin close by to toss stuff into to be donated. When it gets full, I take it and drop it off. Every season we do a “Fashion Show” with the kids clothing. They pull everything out of their drawers and try it on. If they don’t like it anymore or doesn’t fit, we get rid of it. And we go buy stuff to replace/stock up on things they need for their wardrobe.
    Check out FB-there are usually groups where you can post the stuff you have for sale and people will buy it. I’m a member of two and have sold TONS of stuff.

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  13. CycleNinja

    3 years ago

    I actually paid money for a de-cluttering service to come in and help me rearrange my kitchen and bedroom late last year. It was a very well-spent $50.

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  14. benjamindsearle

    3 years ago

    I don’t keep enough things to declutter effectively. I think what I need is tips on how to keep more things!

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  15. starmomma

    3 years ago

    We’re actually going to be doing that this year to make room in the garage so that hubby can have some space to build stuff. We’ll be selling some things and probably throwing quite a bit away. We tried a garage sale last year before Pike was born, and not much went away (unfortunately we live in a very small town).

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  16. lucidlotus

    3 years ago

    I recently read about a challenge where you get rid of 7 things every day for two months. I like the idea but here I sit, weeks later, with exactly the same amount of crap as before. I like your idea of one a day better.

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  17. emustu

    3 years ago

    Every time I buy something new (clothing, toy for the kid, etc), I make sure to get rid of two things. I either donate, toss or store in my storage room. It really helps with clutter. Another big help is a neat freak husband who loses his mind with clutter and ‘stuff just laying around’.

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  18. Mommaexpat

    3 years ago

    Starting with closest is a good way to get motivated. The concept of packing away clothes that aren’t seasonally-relevant all while weeding out ones you haven’t worn in 2+ years (then dontate them) works well for me.

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  19. PishPosh

    3 years ago

    What I do is I move. Moving is such a pain in the butt the less stuff the better, so it forces you to declutter. Also, you lose things in the move.

    You probably don’t want to do that, so my other suggestion is twice a year garage sale and anything you haven’t actually used or touched in 6 months goes in the sale. Anything you don’t sell you give away. Period.

    I also like to look at magazines of show homes and I get so excited about how clean and uncluttered it looks it inspires me to declutter.

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  20. mpekinjay

    3 years ago

    Love it. Getting back to the essentials.

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  21. CathiC2

    3 years ago

    If you have large items or a lot of stuff to donate all at once, check with the local Housing Authority, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, or Epilepsy Foundation. Often, these charities will come to YOU at no cost to pick up your stuff.

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  22. OriginalWacky

    3 years ago

    I suck at getting rid of extra stuff. Mostly I have to be in the right mood, and that happens awfully rarely. What I need is somebody to come in and help me organize what I have!

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  23. mooivrouw

    3 years ago

    Ooh, Listia. I’ll have to check that out. I know of some other exchange sites, or resale sites, but that one is new. Thanks!

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  24. janey649

    3 years ago

    Personally I enjoy getting rid of stuff. We live in a smallish house and the less crap in it the less I have to organize and clean. Twice a month a charity comes by and picks up ‘stuff’ we no longer use or want. I love it :)

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  25. KarenMarrs

    2 years ago

    I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love to throw stuff I don’t need away. There is an entire dump dedicated to my crap. I should note, though, I only throw the broken/worn out crap away. I do donate the stuff in decent shape.

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  26. marta28

    2 years ago

    Conceptually I think this is a brilliant idea and seems relatively easy, but then I couldn’t think of single thing to throw away. My husband has TONS of things I would LOVE to throw away but he for some reason insists on keeping his college notebooks just in case he wants to one day check the notes he wrote in Art History.

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