Drastically Improve Life by Cutting the Clutter


If you’re looking to buy or sell a home chances are you have a move in your future. While most people hate the process of packing everything, getting it to the new place and then unpacking it again, look at your move as a chance to clean the slate and de-clutter your life.

As a nation, we’re pretty good at accumulating things. Whether you like it or not, our culture is driven by consumerism and materialism. Even if you are aware of that and try your best to not partake, I’d wager that you still have more stuff than the average person around the globe.

But the problem is that the stuff we stock pile often does very little to improve our lives. Instead we pack it away in closets, garages and eventually storage facilities. We then feel the need to buy bigger homes because our old homes can’t accommodate all of our stuff or the all of the stuff that comes with a life changing event like marriage or having a child.

Going through a move myself right now, I was shocked at how much stuff I had in my house and how much of that stuff I hardly ever used. Not wanting to continue the cycle of clutter in my new place and out of fear of starting down the road to being a hoarder you see on reality TV, I decided to slice and dice my possessions.

Five Questions

When you begin your de-cluttering adventure, it’s hard to know where to start. You spent money or were given the things you have as a gift, so how do you go about deciding what stays and what goes?

I found that by asking yourself these five questions, you can easily decide if something is worth keeping around:

  • Have you used it in the last year?
  • Can you use it in the next week?
  • Is there sentimental value?
  • Do you have more than one?

If you answer yes to the first three, then seriously consider keeping the item. If you answer yes to the last one, keep one and get rid of the other.

Where Does it Go?

You have many options when you finally decide that something needs to not be taking up space anymore. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Give Away – If you have stuff that you don’t need or want anymore, but that you think someone else could use, consider donating it. There are many great charities out there that can use your donations and help the needier.

Sell It – If your stuff might be worth some money, then why not try to sell it? You’d be surprised at what your stuff is worth if you put a little work into selling it. You can use eBay, Craig’s List or just have a good old fashion garage sale.

Trash – The bottom of the pile is stuff that has no value to anyone and that stuff needs to just be tossed. Many dumps have “freecycle” sections where you can leave items that someone might find valuable. Also make sure you are disposing of electronics/chemicals/paints and other potentially hazardous material in a responsible manner.

A Weight Lifted

Trust me, the process might be painful but when you finally dive in and start to de-clutter your home, you’ll find life if much better. Food tastes better, the air is fresher and birds follow you around chirping Disney songs. Ok, maybe that’s not exactly true… but don’t underestimate the emotional value of clearing out and moving on.