Good 4U, Good 4The Home—20 Good Reasons to Declutter

Inspired by "25 Reasons to Get Rid of It," by Alexandra Churchill from Martha Stewart Living

It turns out that getting rid of stuff is really good for you!

"A house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it."  ~George Carlin

Goodbye, Clutter...
Hello, Tranquility

1.  Clutter-free — A clutter-free environment lowers stress
  • Provides greater control over your environment
  • Makes a room more comfortable & inviting
  • Raises personal pride & increases self-confidence

A multi-year study published in 2012 by the Center on Everyday Lives of Families at UCLA concluded that living in a cluttered home set up the occupants for physical, emotional & mental harm.  

2. Saves time hunting for your...
  • cell phone
  • keys
  • receipt
  • stuff you brought back from vacation
  • iPad, Kindle
  • sunglasses
  • gloves or hat
  • watch
  • wallet
  • credit card
  • umbrella

According to a survey by the Bluetooth tracking company,, Americans lose an average of $5,591 in valuables over a lifetime, enough to keep a family of 4 in the U.S. well fed for four months.

3.  80 percent of what we own, we don't use.

Based on the 80/20 principle, the common rule theory of predictable imbalance observed in 1897 by Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, we use only about 20 percent of what we own.

4.  Reducing clutter reduces the amount of time we spend doing housework.

5.  Saves on late fees because bills don't get lost in the shuffle.

6.  Make some $$ — August 13, 2016 is National Garage Sale Day.   

In 2001 C. Daniel Rhodes came up with the idea of #NationalGarageSaleDay.  It's the second Saturday in August and a really good reason to clean out the garage.

I'm not the bargaining type, but it's still a good reason to clean out the garage & donate to Goodwill.  

There's always Ebay & LetGo

7.  Get rid of old cosmetics.  

Really.  Get rid of old lipstick, mostly used powder compacts, 12 different eye shadows you'll never use, foundation that is the shade of tan you used to be, mostly dried up mascara, anything with a passed expiration date.  

8.  Reduce junk mail   

9.  Recycle phone books, travel books & seasonal catalogs

10.  Clothes: The 6-Month /1-Year Rule

If you haven't worn it for 6 months, keep it, but make a mental note to wear it.  

 If you haven't worn it for a year or more, pass it on.  Somebody else will love wearing it to their Junior Prom.

My add-on:  Get rid of clothes that no longer fit.  Sweaters, underwear, pants, button-down shirts, shoes, swimsuits.   

11.  Update your cookware, dishes & utensils.

Pay special attention to plastics.  Donate the warped ones, anything that does not have a lid that fits, and oddly shaped containers that you never use.

Empty-nesters, this is a good time to sort through the cookie-cutter collection & the multiple muffin tins.  Chances are, you are no longer baking muffins for a classroom.

Be gone cheapo kitchen knives, starting with paring knives.  Old knives tend to accumulate over time.  Wusthof & Shun are both excellent manufacturers of quality knives.

Get rid of glassware that is chipped.  

12.  Out with the old. 

  • Slippers  
  • Running shoes that they don't even make anymore
  • Outdated ties
  • Socks without mates, or those that have shrunken to fit a 10-year old girl
  •  Bed linens (an updated bed can do wonders) 
  • oven mitts &/or hotpads
  • ancient dishtowels
  • Coffee cups
  • Costume jewelry

13.  Fix it or get rid of it.

  • lawnmower
  • weedeater
  • wheel barrow
  • dustbuster
  • lamp with a tempremental on/off switch

14.  It's still good, but you never, ever use it.

  • fondue pot 
  • juicer
  • dehydrator
  • yogurt maker
  • canning jars
  • fabric
  • plastic rain ponchos
  • suitcases
  • Christmas lights & ornaments
  • Easter baskets
  • holiday tableware
  • sports gear (i.e. skis, golf clubs, balls, etc.)
  • camping equipment
  • aquarium supplies
  • bikes

15.  You don't need 12 of them, whatever it is.

  • clean out the cable supply
  • old teeshirts
  • kitchen aprons
  • glasses cases
  • rolls of wrapping paper 

16.  Your neighbor could use it.

  • baby gates
  • kid & teen clothes
  • used furniture that would be good for a college student
  • piano or other musical instrument

17.  Trade-ins

Trade in multiple gadgets for discounted rates on a new one (e.g. Amazon lets you trade-in old Kindles for a credit toward the purchase of a new model).  

Amazon Kindle Trade-In


18.  Help the Critters

Donate old towels & blankets to your local animal shelter.

19.   Help the Vets

Donate a non-cash gift to Operation Home Front.  Like-new items only...

  • household items
  • furniture
  • games & puzzles
  • children's books   

20.  Recycle Your Jeans

Send in your old jeans, and Blue Jeans Go Green™ will recycle them as UltraTouch Denim Insulation™ made from 80% post-consumer recycled denim. 

• declutter • your • life •


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