How to De-junk Your House

by Katie Robison, freelance writer of ( 23-Apr-2010 )

Few people relish the idea of de-junking their homes, but the rewards can be significant. Here are some strategies to help you conquer and dispose of the mess in the closet, the basement, the garage, or wherever your junk accumulates.


Set aside a little bit of time every week, maybe an hour (forty-five minutes to sort and fifteen minutes to tidy up afterward), to tackle the project. That way you won't feel overwhelmed, and you'll still be making progress. It's helpful to use boxes or bins and label them "Keep," "Toss" or "Donate," and "Undecided." As you sort through your stuff, put them in the appropriate box instead of making piles on the floor, which you'll just end up going through again or putting back in the closet. Don't get distracted. It's easy to start leafing through the photo albums you dig out, but save the trips down memory lane for after your hour of de-junking.


Sometimes having the motivation to de-junk isn't enough. It can be difficult to make decisions about whether or not to keep something, and many people get frustrated when they can't force themselves to throw anything away. Here's what you should ask yourself if you can't make a decision: "Do I want to frame and display this item?" If you do, keep it. If you don't, ask if you would want to take a picture. If you do, take the picture and throw it away. If you don't, throw it away without a picture! Taking pictures of objects that are no longer needed is a great way to free up space while still preserving the memories with which they are associated.


If you compile a lot of trash and don't have the resources to get rid of it yourself, you might want to call a waste removal service to cart it away for you. On the other hand, if you feel like something's too valuable to simply toss in the trash, consider giving it away--either to a friend or to a donations-based charity like Goodwill or the Salvation Army. You can even use websites like Freecycle to give it to an interested stranger. Or why not make some money? Have a yard sale, or sell it on Craigslist or eBay or through your local newspaper.


De-junking is a great way to free up space in your house, feel more organized and in control, help someone else out, and maybe even make a little money.

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