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  • Alexander Wissel

How to Declutter Your Home: What to Keep, Donate, or Discard

The Ultimate Decluttering Checklist

  1. Readers will learn the importance of decluttering for mental and emotional well-being.

  2. Readers will learn practical tips and questions to help them assess their belongings and decide what to keep, donate, or discard.

  3. Readers will learn about the benefits of donating items and how to responsibly discard unwanted belongings.


How to Declutter Your Home - Source: Pexels.com
How to Declutter Your Home

Welcome to the ultimate guide on how to declutter your home! Whether you're moving to a new place or simply want to create a more organized living space – deciding what to keep, donate, or discard can be a challenging task. In this article, we'll give you some practical tips and tough questions you can ask yourself to help you make the process easier.


To declutter your home, start by assessing your belongings and asking yourself practical questions about their usefulness and significance. Keep items that are essential, meaningful, and serve a purpose, while donating gently used items and unwanted gifts. Discard broken or irreparable items, expired goods, and worn-out clothing, while responsibly recycling or disposing of them according to local regulations.


Understanding the Importance of Decluttering


Decluttering isn’t just about tidying up your physical space. It also has a profound impact on your mental and emotional well-being. My chi always feels better in an organized and tidy place.


A cluttered environment can contribute to stress, anxiety, and even affect your productivity. By comparison, we are working to create a sense of calmness. By clearing out the excess, you can bring more clarity into your life. But before you start putting things in piles, take a moment to think about what you have and what you are working towards.


Step 1: Assess Your Belongings


Begin the decluttering process by assessing your belongings. Consider each item individually and ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I use it regularly?

  2. Does it hold sentimental value?

  3. Does it contribute to my daily life or enhance my living space?

  4. Is it in good condition?

Evaluating each item. Depending upon whether it has any usefulness or significance, you’ll be able to make informed decisions about whether to keep, donate, or discard it.


Step 2: What to Keep


Keep items that are essential, meaningful, and serve a purpose. Some key factors to consider when deciding what to keep include:

  1. Practicality: Keep items that you use frequently or those that serve a specific function in your daily life.

  2. Sentimental Value: Hold onto things that have sentimental attachments, such as family heirlooms, photographs, or meaningful gifts.

  3. Long-Term Goals: Consider items that align with your long-term aspirations or hobbies you genuinely enjoy pursuing. This might also include packing up baby toys for example to hold until your children have children. Just know why you are keeping/ storing things for the long-term.

Remember, the goal is to curate a collection of belongings that enrich your life and contribute positively to your living environment. There are many different perspectives on how you can make the decision of what to keep.


Marie Kondo is famous for her “Does this bring me joy” line of questioning. Find a method that resonates with you.


Step 3: What to Donate


Donating items is a wonderful way to give back to your community and help those in need. Here are some guidelines on what to consider donating:

  1. Gently Used Items: If you have belongings that are in good condition but no longer serve a purpose in your life, consider donating them. This could include clothing, books, furniture, and home decor items. Feel free to be tough on the description of ‘gently used’… if the item looks too worn, feel free to throw it away.

  2. Unwanted Gifts: If you receive gifts that you don't need or use, consider passing them on to someone who might get more use out of it. It’s not inappropriate to get rid of things you aren’t going to use.

  3. Duplicate Items: If you have multiple items serving the same purpose, keep only what you need and donate the rest. This of course is for things that you don’t need in multiples. Getting rid of the rest of your forks because you have one doesn’t make any sense.

Donating not only helps declutter your space but also promotes sustainability by giving items a second life and reducing waste. Check out if there are organizations in your area that take donations. Goodwill is a national presence, but there are many other more local organizations out there as well.


If you’re looking to make a few bucks, check out consignment stores or resellers that would give you some money for your old belongings.


Step 4: What to Discard


Discarding items that are broken, damaged beyond repair, or simply no longer useful is essential for maintaining a clutter-free environment. Some examples of items to discard include:

  1. Broken or Irreparable Items: If an item is damaged and cannot be fixed or has missing parts, it's time to let it go. Today things quite literally aren’t made like they used to. Goods aren’t made to last forever. So don’t keep things like our grandparents used to.

  2. Expired or Outdated Goods: Dispose of expired food, medications, and beauty products to maintain a safe and healthy living environment. If you have food nearing expiration, consider taking it to a soup kitchen.

  3. Worn-out Clothing: If clothing items are torn, stained, or excessively worn, it's best to discard them.

Remember to dispose of items responsibly by recycling or properly disposing of them according to local regulations. If you don’t have the time, energy or effort to dispose of it, hire someone to do it for you. Junk companies exist to help people with this every day.


Keep working at it


Don’t stop with just the questions in our four steps. Ask yourself questions that are relevant to your life: Do you need more space?, do you plan on displaying something at a later time?, do you plan on handing a treasured possession on to a family member?


Be honest with yourself. If you find that you don’t know if an item – or a pile of items – should be saved, discarded, or donated then maybe put it aside to review later. If it's beyond just indecision about what should stay or what should go – Ask someone for help.


If you are having difficulty, don’t feel shy about asking for help from a family member or professional organizer. An outside perspective may be just the thing you need.


How to Declutter Your Home

Decluttering your home is an invigorating process that brings numerous benefits to your physical and mental well-being. It can be overwhelming, we know. But you need to start learning how to declutter your home somewhere, and hopefully, our checklist can help be that spark you need to dig in.


By carefully assessing your belongings and deciding what to keep, donate, or discard, you can create a harmonious living space that reflects your values and supports your goals.


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