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Clearing Out the Clutter: Getting Rid of Things You Don’t Need

July 22, 2020 3 min read 10 Comments

At home life really has me looking around and realizing a) just how much stuff I have, and b) how 30% of it are things I don’t really need!

From old school art projects and notes to books I haven’t touched since my middle school days, having stuff that you no longer need or use is bizarrely stressful.

Inspired by my Decor on a Budget and Spring-ifying Your Space post, I’m at it again but this time, we’re doing a Summer Refresh and clearing out the clutter in our lives!

Here are a few simple ways to make more room for living:

DONATE

One of my favorite things to do when clearing out the clutter is to make  3 piles: donate, keep, and sell. Most of the time I end up donating my items rather than selling them which is still a win for me because the thought of other people possibly experiencing the same happiness I felt while using an item is so worth it.

Charities, donation boxes, churches, shelters, and the like are perfect places to start as they usually accept donations with little to no limitations. Anything that’s still in good condition or gently used like clothing (of course) shoes, games, electronics, books, furniture, nick-nacks, appliances, kitchen items, etc. are fair game and can really help those in need.

SELL

Have a couple of left over items or in the mood to make some extra moolah? Selling older items is a great way to do so. 

You can totally go the old fashioned and host your own garage sale. Don’t have a garage or want other options, how about setting up a table at a local church or flea market, or selling to local consignment or thrift shops. Depending on the items, an antique dealer or even pawn shop (do your homework), are all great possibilities to explore.

Not a fan of in-person selling? Take it digital and sell online. From advertising on social media to using designated apps, the possibilities are endless! To try to make your items look as appealing as possible for its photoshoot, use good lighting, make sure the items are neat and clean, clear the area around the objects, and even consider putting together a simple backdrop that makes whatever your photographing stand out.  

Tip: Be sure to watch out for scammers (read reviews, check the Better Business Bureau as well as the Department of Consumer Affairs for any complaints. And by all means, if you choose any in-person sales never do any transactions alone!

REPURPOSE

For the DIY-minded individuals out there, you may be able to repurpose some of the items thanks to a ton of DIY projects you can find online (hello Pinterest). So, take a stroll through the aisles of Home Depot, Michael’s, Joann’s or the Dollar store and let your creativity run wild! 

DIGITIZE

Love to keep paper documents or stacks of photos?  Drag yourself into the digital age and save some space. Scan and save important items to your hard drive (back it up), the cloud, a disc or flash drive.

SWAP IT OUT

Skip the usual sale and just swap or “gift” items to friends and family. Host a digital swap party and tell everyone to show whatever items they don’t need or use anymore. From there, pick and choose what caught your eye and get to swapping.

You could set up a few rules like highlighting the number of items you’d like folks to bring/showcase and that you can only take or pick as many items as you “bring” to the swap. That way, no one goes home empty-handed.


All in all, things are pretty relative. To you, it may have run its course, no longer holding the excitement or usefulness it once did.  And yet, it’s still taking up floor space, even worse yet, mental space.  That space is literally a placeholder that can be used for either another item that revitalizes/fulfills a new need or it is the perfect space for nothing.  So, get ready to take stock, do a little I SPY with your Decluttering Eye around your house, and see how you can make more room for what your living truly needs.  

What thing(s) give you the most clutter?

10 Comments

  • Tisha July 23, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    I’ve been working on spring cleaning and getting rid of things I don’t use or need. It feels good to minimize definitely!

    • annaelleliz August 9, 2020 at 7:19 pm

      Yes! It’s the greatest feeling, you just get a sense of lightness! Plus there’s more room to buy new things 😂

  • Amber July 22, 2020 at 8:05 pm

    I am working on doing this. I know I have tons of clutter I need to go through.

    • annaelleliz July 22, 2020 at 11:04 pm

      Same girl! The clutter game is strong! I just tackled my closet so one thing down a million more to go!

  • Nadalie (@nadaliebardo) July 22, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    I was planning to do a massive clear out while trapped inside, but I still have not gotten around to it. I am a fan of swapping and donating, thanks for the reminder.

    • annaelleliz July 22, 2020 at 11:02 pm

      Swapping is my new form of shopping 😂! It’s so hard to get around to clearing out stuff isn’t it? Like you see it an know it needs to nee done but, ugh!

  • Melanie July 22, 2020 at 6:26 pm

    I need to do this! I am horrible about getting rid of things and was even worse about it before we minimized to go on the road in our 5th wheel. That definitely helped me be a little better about decluttering, but now that we are back in an apartment it just has been amassing again. Time to do a huge pitch!

    • annaelleliz July 22, 2020 at 11:01 pm

      Organizing can be super stressful and I totally get what you mean. When I was packing to leave from college I downsized but the clutter I brought home, lol! I think keeping track of stuff you use the most vs the stuff you hardly use, then donating/selling the hardly used stuff can help! I mean when am I ever going to need a Twin XL comforter again!

  • Brittany July 22, 2020 at 3:49 pm

    I need to take some time to get organized. I love your idea about going digital. Thank you!

    • annaelleliz July 22, 2020 at 10:57 pm

      OMG yes! I need to organize as well but boy is it overwhelming!

      Going digital and shredding helps with some of the paper clutter you don’t even realize you have!

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    About Anna Elle Liz

    Anna Elle Liz is a lifestyle blog dedicated to navigating our imperfectly perfect lives and everything in between one shared experience at a time! From college hacks and organization tips to fitness routines and musings on adulting, you'll find tons of relatable and engaging content delivered through honest story-telling and simple conversations! Read More

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