Do you keep telling yourself that you’re going to organize your closets, clean out the garage, declutter, or just let go of unneeded junk, once and for all? For some reason, you can’t seem to find the motivation or the will. Are you wondering how to get rid of stuff that just sits around collecting dust, while also weighing you down mentally and emotionally?
Well, I have a challenge for you: Make this the month that you finally clear out the clutter! You can do it, and it won’t be as painful as you may suspect it’ll be.
As someone who embraces minimalism, I’ve learned a few tricks along the way to let go of stuff. Here’s what you can do to get rid of things that are no longer serving you or bringing you joy:
Pick a day
Pull out your planner or your calendar, and find an open date! Set aside a day to do a purge so that you won’t have any excuses for not getting around to it. Plan on spending a few hours to dive in and start going through things.
Feeling overwhelmed already? Start with just one area, like a bedroom closet, a section of the basement, or even a dresser. Starting small will help you feel less overwhelmed. It can also boost your motivation to keep pushing ahead once you’ve cleared out a space.
Planning & Preparing
When you have a plan in place and you schedule in time to get rid of stuff, you’ll have it in mind for a few days so that you can start preparing. Get trash bags or boxes, and maybe even a few storage bins to organize everything you’ll want to keep. You might need to do a little mental preparation, too, especially if you get anxious at the thought of parting with your things.
If you struggle to make it through a closet, drawer, or pile of stuff alone, enlist the help of someone else. They won’t have the same emotional attachment to that sweater you’ve been holding onto since the 9th grade.
Even though I actually love the idea of downsizing my stuff, I still struggle with letting some things go. This is where I need to call in support! When I’m struggling to toss something, I’ll ask a loved one. Since they have no attachment to the item, they’re able to say, “get rid of it!” without blinking an eye. It gives me that little extra push that I sometimes need.
Separating and Sorting
As you’re going through things, you’ll want to sort them into one of 4 piles:
Selling items online or at a yard sale is a great way to make a little extra cash. If you have decent clothing, shoes, sporting equipment, etc., there’s a good chance that someone out there is willing to buy it.
eBay is a good option if you have smaller items, but Craigslist is a great place to offer furniture and bulkier items. Facebook is also now offering a “Marketplace” where you can list and sell your old stuff easily.
Look up local Facebook swaps in your community where you can get a little money back for the things that you or your family are no longer using. Donate whatever you can’t sell.
An important note on donating- try to get the stuff dropped off as soon as possible, otherwise, that bag or box marked for donation will just continue to take up space in your home. Trust me, I speak from experience!
Make a “Hold” Box
If you really aren’t sure that you want to let an item go, set it aside in a holding box. You can then put the box away in a closet for a few weeks and go back to it. If you decide that you really don’t want or need the item by then, you can let it go.
Do limit yourself to a single box so that you don’t start heading towards hoarder territory. You don’t want to pile up lots of stuff and hang onto it indefinitely. Make one box and be choosy about what you toss in. Chances are that when you open the box up in a few weeks, you’ll be surprised that you even considered keeping what’s in there.
Detaching from Your Stuff
Your stuff doesn’t have feelings, so it won’t be offended if you let it go, I promise. Your memories will remain intact, while that shirt you’ve been hanging on to for 10 years will get musty and moth-eaten since it never sees the light of day anymore. Embracing minimalism is much easier once you realize that your things are just things, and you can let them go and be okay.
You are not your stuff
Remember, your stuff doesn’t define you! If you’re feeling sentimental about a particular item, snap a picture of it before you let it go. If you truly aren’t sure if you’re ready to part with it, then just hold onto it for a little longer.
Some stuff is easy to get rid of, and you’ll find yourself wondering what took you so long to actually get around to it. Hopefully, as you’re organizing, you’ll even come across things that can be useful to you again. You’ll probably find things that you totally forgot you owned.
Just make sure that the items you keep are actually going to be appreciated and used often. Reusing or re-purposing stuff you already have is a great way to save money!
Repeat this process a few times a month, setting aside a few hours here and there to tackle a specific area. Once you’re done, you should end up with organized rooms, and maybe even a little extra cash in your pocket. Figuring out how to get rid of stuff can help you on a path towards more minimalist living, and it can earn you some extra cash. A win for wannabe minimalists!
Do you have trouble getting rid of stuff?