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How do I get Rid of Clutter?

B. Schreiber
B. Schreiber

There are essentially two ways to get rid of clutter. One is to throw things out and the other is to organize whatever is doing the cluttering. Examining buying habits won't eliminate clutter that has already been accumulated, but they need to be looked at so the problem doesn't become worse. It isn't necessary to start throwing things out right away to get rid of clutter. It is helpful to start with a plan and to begin by simplifying and being aware of habits and actions.

You may find yourself accumulating things that really aren't necessary. To simplify your life, be aware of purchases and whether they're really needed. If you buy a new television, list the old one online or in a newspaper right away if it isn't broken. Also ask yourself if a new item will be a burden after the novelty wears off, or if it will still be useful.

One way to get rid of clutter is to organize a yard sale.
One way to get rid of clutter is to organize a yard sale.

After simplifying, start the decluttering process by dedicating 10 minutes to cleaning up a space every day, with the help of family members or friends if possible. This will allow you to put things you simply don't need in the trash or recycling bin and put other things in their proper places. Also, instead of losing time worrying about bills, for instance, you can just file them together until there's time to tackle them and then keep moving.

After making a good effort to simplify and clean, some things will have to be gotten rid of. Having a garage sale or selling things online allows you to make some money and feel good about getting rid of clutter. Donating old clothes or housewares will do the same. If you have a spouse or family, include them in the process so no one loses something they enjoy. If certain items aren't useful, there's no point in having them clutter a living space. Get rid of things that just don't work anymore, as well as outdated appliances or technology, and stored or damaged furniture that's unlikely to be used.

To get rid of clutter in storage spaces like the basement or attic, begin by putting similar items together. For instance, put keepsake items in waterproof containers or together on a shelving unit. In the process, you can get rid of clutter like boxes for things you no longer own. This simple process will then give you an idea of how to use the room in the long term. If you take on storage spaces first, storing items from the rest of the house will not become a new problem down the road. After you've organized the kitchen, for example, ask yourself if you'd rather have a barely used bread maker or more counter space.

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Discussion Comments


If you have growing children at home, having a garage sale a couple times a year can help de-clutter your house and closets. I have found this to be a great opportunity for my kids to help out in the process and make some extra money from the items that they sell.

This keeps their closets free of clothes that they have outgrown or won't wear any more, and also helps teach them about handling money and working with people. Because they out grow their clothes so quickly having one or two garage sales a year can also help with money to purchase new clothes.


I do a pretty good job of keeping the areas of the house that I use on a regular basis free of clutter. The area where I struggle most with clutter control is the spare room where I put everything I just don't know what to do with. Then I just shut the door so I don't have to look at it.

I am motivated to get rid of this clutter whenever I am having company. This forces me to make a decision about what to do with it and instead of just moving it to another area, I will go through and get rid of what I don't use any more.

This can be rewarding if you have items that you know other people can get some use out of. You are decluttering your house, yet helping someone else out at the same time.

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    • One way to get rid of clutter is to organize a yard sale.
      By: Alexey Stiop
      One way to get rid of clutter is to organize a yard sale.