When you sort through all your things how do you know what to keep and what to get rid of?

What is your goal? What would you like to end up with? A room you can see the floor in? A closet you can fit your clothes in? You need to visualize the space you want to unclutter and sort.

With your vision in mind – you have to decide what is important enough to keep in your new space. If everything holds the same importance to you and you can’t let go of everything, you will not accomplish your goal and you will not have cleared the space.

Take each item and make a fast decision. Decided which category it belongs in below. I suggest either getting boxes and labeling them, or make signs to use for your piles.

The key is to remember that if you keep everything, you won’t be any closer to your goal.

Don’t worry if Aunt Susie gave it to you and you don’t want to hurt her feelings. Do YOU like it and does it add value to the space? If not, then it is alright to donate it, or give it to another family member who might really like it. Take that item and in 5 fast seconds say to yourself, “Do I love this, use it and want it?” Simple as that. (I know it isn’t really that easy…but the more you do, the easier it gets.) I know there are the complicated items, I know there are the sentimental items. But you have to make a first run through. Then you can deal with the more difficult items like a pipe your grandfather smoked or a Precious Moments Collections of your mothers.
Sorting Categories

Sorting Keep

Love It: (Keep)

1) Love It
2) Use It
3) Want it or Can’t live without it

Tip: Remember, you can’t LOVE everything or else you will not make any progress


1) Won’t Use
2) Don’t Like
3) Doesn’t Fit

Tip: Think of other people who could benefit from the items you are donating. Why let them sit there, when others need them so badly?

Sorting move it
Move It: (Keep)

1) Wrong Room

Tip: Only Move the things that you LOVE or items that you have to Store. Don’t just shift the mass to another room.

sorting store it
Store It: (Keep)

1) Seasonal
2) Can’t give it up
3) Can’t Use Now

Tip: Be selective in what you store. You don’t HAVE to save every Christmas decoration etc. Use the same sorting process for holiday decorations. For items you “Can’t Give Up” allow yourself one plastic bin or box for your “cherished” items. Call it your special box. If that box gets full, then decide which items need to come out to make room for others. Give yourself limits and stay within them.

sorting trash – recycle
Trash/ Recycle:

1) Broken
2) Torn
3) Can’t Donate

Tip: Please do not donate items that aren’t in good enough shape to use. That just means someone else has to get rid of your trash. Recycle as much as possible, but move it out of your home. Don’t plan a zillion projects to recycle old items into new, otherwise you will not be able to move out from beneath your clutter.

Sandy Jensen
Sandy Jensen, a celebrated writer in the home and garden niche, boasts over 12 years of hands-on experience. Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s in Landscape Architecture from Cornell University. Before joining our team in 2016, she worked as a landscape designer, combining her love for nature and design. Sandy's expertise shines through her articles, offering readers practical and aesthetically pleasing gardening tips. Off the clock, she enjoys hiking and nature photography, further nurturing her connection with the outdoors.

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