The Purge - Getting Rid of Clutter and Restoring Order to Your Home

by DixieSomers
It’s time to get organized, but you cannot bear to get rid of items. It can be tough to part with things, but if you feel suffocated by clutter, that is no way to live. It might seem like there’s no way to organize absolutely every item you own, but when you get creative, you’ll see that there truly is a place for everything. Here are a few tips to help you know what to get rid of, how to organize what you have left, and how you can make the most of your available storage space.

The problem with de-cluttering may not be letting things go, but you hate to see them go to waste. Find a way to feel good about what you’re getting rid of. Choose thrift stores with a mission to donate to. Goodwill uses proceeds to help people find and retain employment, and the Salvation Army strives to meet human need in a variety of ways. It can be easier to let go of items if you know they’re going to a good cause. You can also give items to people you know personally, or turn them over to an eBay seller to make a little extra money.

The price you paid for an item is irrelevant to today’s value. If it’s broken, the value is essentially nothing. Don’t fall into the trap of keeping items because of the money you may have invested in them. Let the personal property go if it’s broken, doesn’t fit anymore, doesn’t bring you joy or is terribly outdated. Whether you toss it in the garbage or donate it will depend on the condition.

Bins are great for storing things in the attic and garage. You can fill the bins with like items, label the exterior and then stack them neatly in place. You can make the most of vertical storage space by investing in sturdy shelves. Take care to avoid putting fragile items like porcelain or glass in the attic as the high temperatures might damage them. Even if you don’t have to look at these things on a regular basis, you’ll be glad you created an organized system in a few years when you go through your stuff again or need to find something.

There are countless ways to make your storage area more efficient for the items that you use on a regular basis. Small bins the size of shoe boxes are ideal for organizing smaller items like first aid kits and medications. Avoid putting items in the back of cabinets and then burying them behind other things. It’s too easy to forget what’s in the back. When possible, use shelves, baskets, canisters and bins to keep track of your items. Remember, being organized doesn’t automatically mean that you have to use ugly plastic bins—get creative and colorful with your storage and you’ll be much more motivated to stick to the system.

Purging isn’t a one-time event that you can do and then forget. You need to stay on top of the clutter by embracing an effective system. One idea is to adopt the one-in-one-out rule. If you have to buy a new tool or clothing item, then you must have one at home that no longer suits your purposes. When the new one comes in, immediately get rid of the old one. Limit your storage space and force yourself to purge items when the bin or drawer becomes full.

Keeping up with clutter is a challenge, but you’ll have a more enjoyable home when you take the time to get rid of items. You’ll have open space for the things you really use and enjoy, and you won’t have to worry about clutter taking over your life when you start following a reliable system.
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  • Debbie Debbie on Jan 31, 2021

    I'm admittedly a pack rat and a nester. I don't like being either. My biggest issue is the little nit picky things like ink pens that still write paper clips nails screws twist ties etc... They end up in every drawer bin and container possible . I seem to have an enormous amount off all of it. I try to have a place for it all but it keeps multiplying...

    I hate to throw it but some days I want to empty my house completely and start all over.