How to get rid of stuff and declutter

How to get Rid of Stuff

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.

Read More: How to Become a Minimalist without Even Trying

Enlist Help

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:

  • Keep

  • Sell

  • Donate

  • Trash

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? 

14 thoughts on “How to get Rid of Stuff”

  1. Shannon @ Financially Blonde

    I am in desperate need of getting rid of stuff. My issue is that I start the process and drop the ball when it comes to what avenue we take to get rid of the stuff i.e. Craigslist, eBay or something else. I do have time earmarked in the spring to focus on this and try to do it all at once rather than bits and pieces at a time.

    1. Yeah, you have to decide what’s worth the time and effort to get it listed online. Hopefully you can make a little extra cash this spring!

  2. I have a rule that if there is a box and we haven’t touched in a couple years, we probably don’t need and should just chuck it.

    I’ve actually never been successful putting this into practice, but it makes my wife go through some things!

  3. I love getting rid of stuff. There are a few items which made me feel sad when I sold them (like my surfboard and snowboard), but in a couple days you’re over it, and being free of clutter is a much better feeling…plus having little bit more cash on hand. 🙂

  4. Detach your emotion with stuff that you own will certainly help you getting rid of unneeded items. We regularly go through our stuff and sell/donate things that we no longer need. No point filling up the closet right?

  5. I have no problem getting rid of anything! I feel so much better and organized when I let things go. I’ll give myself an hour to pack things and then move onto something else. Otherwise I would get too overwhelmed and just create a disaster!

  6. I’ve always had trouble getting rid of stuff, until just recently. We have donated and thrown away a TON of things in the past 2 weeks.

  7. Aldo @ Million Dollar Ninja

    I don’t know how many times I’ve said I’ll get rid of some of my stuff and never really get around to doing it. I should really follow your plan and pick a date, and ask for help. Maybe if somebody else is involved I would feel forced to doing it.

  8. We seem to do big purges all the time, but the clutter never leaves. Maybe Valentine’s Day would be a good day to tackle the storage room… The Little is at grandma’s… Seems romantic enough for me!

  9. Robin @ The Thrifty Peach

    For me personally the trick is to have my mom help me. She keeps me from hanging onto junk.

  10. I think that if you are able to make a weekly/monthly ritual of getting rid of 1 or 2 things, you can always maintain a pretty minimalist lifestyle without getting too much junk that builds up. Our simple rule is that if we haven’t used it in the past year, it is gone!

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