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You’d be surprised how many people have a really hard time parting with clutter. What I mean by clutter are old clothes, old books and magazines, broken-down furniture, hardly functioning appliances, rusty dishes, worn-out carpet rugs, etc.

There are two types of people who can’t part with clutter:
1) Those who keep old stuff but also buy new things, and have a really hard time finding room for everything.
2) Those whose frugality borders with stinginess and keep repairing, sewing, gluing, stitching and painting old stuff, so they wouldn’t have to buy anything new.

Recognizing you have a problem is the first step to making your life easier. In order to bring yourself to a place where you’ll feel good about parting with clutter, you’ll need to sit down and think about this problem seriously. Admit to yourself that you don’t really need most of the things lying around the house and making it impossible to tidy up completely. Realize that these are just material things that should not have any emotional significance to you – at least most of these things. They are replaceable and SHOULD be replaced every once in a while.

Of course, this is not to say that you should be one of those people who go out and buy a new appliance every two months. The planet is polluted enough already and we should all learn not to waste stuff. So how do we make a distinction between wasting things, and parting with clutter at the right time?

Guest Post: How to Part with Clutter
Photo Credit: Sane Spaces

Hints That Help You Recognize Unnecessary Items

  • Clothes you haven’t worn for over a year
  • Appliances that break down every other time you use them
  • Dishes that burn food
  • Furniture that looks run down, peels away, is uncomfortable to sit or sleep in
  • Rugs that look dirty even after washing them
  • Books and magazines that you don’t absolutely love

Guest Post: How to Part with Clutter
Photo Credit: Audrey Thompson

Once you’ve realized you’ll be better off without things you’re either not using, or you’re better off not using them, you can do several useful things with them:

1. Donate clothes to charity.
2. Find out which stores accept old/broken down appliances, and they’ll maybe give you a discount on new items.
3. Books and magazines can be sold on ebay or any similar website.
4. If you or anyone you know have a summer house where you don’t spend much time and aesthetics are not of importance, any old furniture, dishes, rugs etc. could do.
5. Throw away items that no one needs without a moment’s hesitation.

Now that you’ve cleared away all that clutter, your house and wardrobe are ready for new, functional things. Don’t over-buy or buy hastily. The point is not only to make your house a place you can breathe in and move about easily, but also to learn how to spend money wisely, on things you actually need.

Don’t buy a book the moment you feel like reading it; try borrowing it from a library or a friend. Think carefully about what you will really need and use in the kitchen. As far as clothes go, invest in good boots, jackets and winter coats, but don’t pay too much money for blouses, pants and skirts that you’ll get tired of quickly. Recycle all that you can, and feel good about moving on from old stuff.

Guest Post: How to Part with Clutter
Photo Credit: Ken Lauher

{Allison Moody writes about parting with clutter from her experience. She works much better in a tidy space, and she enjoys writing and reading about useful tips. Allison is a freelance ghostwriter and currently she’s working on promoting her new FREE online tool, Labeley. She can be reached at allison.moody@labeley.com.}