Nov 1

Becoming Minimalist: Tips for Getting Rid of Your Stuff


clothing on hangersFor many people, going through your own stuff and getting rid of possessions can be difficult. It’s tempting to keep things that you think you might use in the future, even when you haven’t touched them for years. The beauty of cleaning out your home and getting rid of stuff, however, is that you can live without clutter and enjoy a more minimalist lifestyle. If getting rid of stuff is difficult for you, here are some tips for letting go of your stuff so that you can successfully reduce clutter in your home.

Create four sorting piles: keep, sell, donate, and trash.

First, you’ll want to create four separate piles to sort your belongings into: keep, sell, donate, and trash. (You may want to divide your “trash” pile into smaller piles: recycle, shred, and trash.) This will streamline the sorting process significantly. The “sell” and “donate” piles are especially important because they will incentivize you to get rid of things—either because you’ll make money off of them, or because they will serve a better purpose when donated.

Start by getting rid of the things you’re sure not to miss.

There are probably quite a few things in your home that you can get rid of without having to give it a second thought. Some examples:

  • Old magazines, books, and movies
  • Old coupons and receipts
  • Wrapping paper scraps and unused craft supplies
  • Old toiletries and makeup
  • Old electronics
  • Excess storage containers
  • Worn linens
  • Old food and spices
  • Junk drawer items
  • Mismatched socks, earrings, food storage containers, etc.
  • Accessories (belts, scarves, hats, etc.) that you never wear

Ask questions.

When you are considering getting rid of something, there are also a number of useful questions you can ask yourself about the item. Some examples:

  • Do I use this regularly?
  • If not, is it something that I absolutely love?
  • Am I keeping this out of obligation?
  • Am I saving this “just in case” I’ll need it in the future?
  • Do I have more than one of this item?
  • Do I own something else that could do what this item does?
  • Would I rather keep this item or get money for it?
  • Is it worth the time and effort needed to fix this?
  • Could someone else be making better use of this?
  • Did I even remember that I owned this?
  • Would I buy this now if I saw it at the store?

Hands off.

Did you know that when you hold something in your hands, you are more likely to develop a personal attachment to it? For this reason, it can help to ask a friend to help you go through your things for giveaway. Have your friend pick up things in your potential giveaway pile and ask you whether or not you want to keep them. That way, you won’t grow attached to those things that you really should be giving away.