space clearing tips

Decluttering Clothes to Create Clarity in Your Closet

Curating a wardrobe that reflects your current taste and lifestyle requires decluttering clothes which no longer warrant a place in your closet. When you’re over 50, there’s likely been a change with how you spend your time. Which means what you’re wearing has also pivoted, too.

So if you find yourself pawing through blouses, slacks and shoes to assemble your day’s outfit, this series is for you! Imagine the serenity of readily seeing only what you need, use, and love in your closet!

I’m timing this series with the annual Spring ritual of swapping out Winter clothing for warmer weather (or the opposite, if you live below the equator). Unless you are blessed with a roomy walk-in closet, many store their off-season clothing in another closet or room. So pause before packing away things you didn’t wear yet again. It’s is the perfect time to curate a wardrobe that fits, flatters, and feels good now!

First things first, before decluttering your clothes!

 

Begin with why, create a plan, and then get going

Grab a notebook or create a Word doc which captures what you personally want to achieve. Maybe your top goal is to downsize your wardrobe. Or perhaps it’s to add in clothing that truly aligns with your daily routine. You may have a few things on your list.

Whatever it is, this will be your personal reminder to refer back to, when your motivation slows down or hesitation sets in.

-Decide when you will devote a block of time to focus on your closet. If you can do a daily session, great! Is it 30 minutes a day? Will it be an hour, 4 times a week? Or will you be a weekend warrior, armed with strong coffee?

Just land on what fits in your schedule and suits your energy level …  and commit to it. 

And now, on to my 5 rules for decluttering clothes that need to go!

This post kicks off a series about decluttering clothes to discover your new midlife style!

how to declutter clothes
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Rule #1: Release Costly Items Never (if ever) worn

How often do we cling to things that we regret buying? Oh, they may be perfectly beautiful yet they don’t fit quite right, they aren’t truly your style after all or they were an impulse buy. You know exactly which items these are in your closet! But then your second thought is remembering how much you spent … and so they stay. 

Go ahead and set them aside for now. If you’re up for recouping some of those dollars, label the box, “Sell”. But if you don’t have the time or inclination, label the box, “Donate”. I will share the best current options for both in an upcoming blog post!

Be willing to let these items go. The money has been spent so it’s not actually costing you anything to release this stuff. But they are costing you in terms of occupying valuable space in your closet.

Focus instead on the fact that you’re finding a better home where they will get the use and love they deserve. And now you’ve made room for what truly reflects you. What do you think about that? 

how to be ruthless when decluttering clothes
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Rule #2: Release "it" colors or styles that aren't you

Are you smiling now? Good! I’m simply making the point that while we want to look current, sometimes the so-called “must have” looks are simply not our friends.

Who dreams up these “rules” anyway? What if we created our own rules? Think about it this way: there’s a reason we reach for certain styles or colors time after time. Certainly, it’s possible we get ourselves into a rut. Maybe we’re playing it safe. Or we might truly benefit from a little styling advice! Don’t worry: I’ve got blog posts coming up addressing all of this!

Meanwhile, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Go ahead and weed out what you don’t like or wear. Why hang on to idle clothing? You can sort into the two categories mentioned earlier: “Sell” and “Donate”.

There, doesn’t that feel good to release what doesn’t truly flatter or make your heart flutter? I thought so!

how to downsize your wardrobe

Rule #3: Reduce your stockpile of special occasion items

Here we are delving into identifying what reflects the cadence of our current lifestyle. It’s not uncommon that our roles change after 50. And so it follows that our clothing choices should, too.

While the definition of a special occasion will vary from one person to the next, think about the situations calling for an outfit other than your everyday wear. How often does that happen? Ensure that the quantity of said items jives with the frequency of such situations.

Also, pay attention to the color, fabric and design of your special occasion clothing. If black is not your best hue, then perhaps your “little black dress” needs to be blue! Or red. You know what your personal power color is.

And if the material feels confining, stiff, or itchy and it’s always a relief to take it off, that should go, too! The goal is for you to define what creates confidence and comfort every time you put it on. Those are the timeless items  to keep. Release the rest. 

Additionally, corporate (business) attire may not fit under the  “special occasion” label, but don’t overlook releasing this or any other type of clothing if you don’t mingle in a certain arena any more. Most of us don’t have sufficient warehouse room for all the “some day”, “you never know”, or “just in case” clothing!

how do you declutter too many clothes
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Rule #4: Release multiple sizes from the fluctuating scale

This is a touchy subject but bear with me, please. Who hasn’t experienced a change in their shape and weight, as the years go by? Despite our best efforts, there will be a natural shift despite exercise and dietary adjustments.

We can still look fabulous! But clinging to sizes that are unrealistic or require deprivation than we are unwilling to endure? Let those go! Life is too short to berate yourself on the basis of size.

However, only you can decide what to keep, based on your personal goals and determination. Is it de-motivating to see sizes too small in your closet? My suggestion is to remove those items and store them in a box labeled with the size and the current date.

If they still don’t fit by a future date, i.e., the next season, re-evaluate your situation. And if it no longer matters to you, don’t even open the box … just let it go! Make room for what truly fits now.

5 rules for decluttering clothes
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Rule #5: Reduce the sentimental volume

 

The 70’s called to get your groove back on! Whatever makes your heart swell, keep it. How wonderful to have your heart smile when you open your closet door and see a reminder of a happy memory.

The key is to limit these items to a discreet number. If you have too many items for viewing only, this will pose a practical problem. How will you have closet capacity for what you actually wear?

Whatever the size of your closet, an artistically arranged set up with a few sentimental items will allow for a pop of joy every time you open the door.

Can you have a dedicated shelf for these things? Would a wall display or a free standing rack in your bedroom be the way to go? Sort for what is most meaningful.

Does each thing have equal value? Likely not, so quickly release anything you feel iffy or “meh” about. Don’t ruminate too long … or decluttering your clothes will grind to a halt!

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The Wrap: This post was about decluttering clothes in order to curate a midlife style that fits, flatters and feels good!

When we’re entering a new season … weather-wise or decade-wise … it’s an ideal time to re-evaluate our wardrobe. 

It’s extremely tricky to recommend styling ideas since we all have such individual taste! And my bottom line is always going to be, “If you love it, then wear it!” Seriously. Don’t be concerned with what anyone else thinks.

Oh, we will be judged. It’s what we do (c’mon, admit it!) and so does everyone else. But do you anyway! 

Your turn!

So I’m curious:

  • Does your clothing reflect your personal lifestyle and taste? Or does it mirror what the “fashion police” decrees?
  • Is your closet chockfull of items from a former role or era? Will you realistically reach for these things again?
  • What truly holds you back from letting certain things go? How do you do it anyway?

Share your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by!  

decluttering ideas

Decluttering Ideas to Release Other People’s Stuff (Without the Guilt!)

Consider using the decluttering ideas in this 4-step process so you can finally let go of things left behind from your loved ones.

Without a doubt, we all hang on to stuff for various reasons. But guilt is often the main culprit.

I mean, just think about your kids’ childhood stuff stashed in the attic. Or what about your mom’s Lenox china for 16 hidden in your dining room hutch. And Grandpa’s beer steins and National Geographic collection buried deep in the basement.

What’s wrong with this scenario? If you love all these things and cannot imagine life without them, then absolutely nothing!

But if thinking about these examples creates tension in your body, then perhaps it’s time to reconsider what’s occupying valuable space in your home! The stuff may be out of sight but it weighs on your mind. Time to set yourself free!

decluttering ideas
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Today Features Decluttering Ideas That Honor What Matters To You!

decluttering your home checklist
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Step 1: Begin With Your Why

>> Do You Want To Function As A Storage Facility?

If it’s a temporary situation, put a time limit on how long the items will be tenants in your home. It’s universal that our kids leave stuff in our home when they depart the nest. And it’s easy for us to hang on to the remnants of their youth. The memories are deep and heart-filled.

We have the space to store their sentimental mementoes … or do we?

Is it possible their stuff is occupying space you could use for your next chapter? In fact, on a larger scale, is their stuff holding you back from making your own physical move?

So, yes: Determine if other people’s things are preventing you from forging ahead!

For a deeper dive into uncovering your “why” in your new life chapter, head here: How to Start Decluttering When Overwhelmed | A Mindful Method for the Win!

minimalist decluttering checklist
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>> Initiate The Convo With The Kids Now!

Now you might feel a little uneasy with this idea. Yet they may simply be assuming it’s A-OK to leave their excess stuff with you. They need to hear how you feel about it!

Also: understand there is benefit for both sides. Your adult children can then adopt a lifelong habit of identifying what matters most to them, too!

To be honest, most Millennials are open to decluttering ideas and goals. They already choose to live in smaller spaces. They seek to travel lightly with their possessions. So the timing for this dialogue is spot on! It can be a session of recalling happy times. This, in turn, leads to deliberate choices of what items to keep and what items to release.

decluttering bedroom checklist
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>> Now Address The "Permanent" Guests In Your Home!

Who’s this? I’m referring to inherited items or gifts from family members or friends. They can be everywhere! Some are stored in boxes or closets, out of sight. Others may be sprinkled throughout your home. 

You know logically these things have an “expiration date” with hanging around. Either they aren’t to your own taste or or they are not useful or necessary for your lifestyle.

They may be something you do appreciate, but you truly don’t have the physical space now or where you may be heading next. Even harder, they may evoke bittersweet or difficult memories of a particular time in your life.

Ask yourself: Do I truly need or want these items in my home?

minimalist decluttering checklist
image from pixabay

Step 2: Sort Items By Donor

Next up is staging the items so that you can see exactly what you have from whom. For example, everything from your Mom could be gathered in the spare room. You can then see at a glance what you have from one person.

Now this may be challenging if your house has things from Mom in every room! If that’s the case, then just segregate her things in each respective room and take a picture. In this way, you can review the entire collection at once or within a few images.

The purpose of this activity is to understand exactly what we have from Mom, Dad, Grandma,  and so forth. Often we balk at releasing something simply because it belonged to someone in particular (and I get that, really!)

But we get bogged down when we assign high value to each and every single item thy owned or touched. Is this realistic?

For me, I think about it this way: “How do I want my son to remember me?” I am most passionate about 3-4 things and so he’s welcome to keep just a few items that define those interests. He doesn’t need to curate a Mom shrine with everything of mine!

In other words, be selective with how you decide to honor your beloved family member.

how to start decluttering when overwhelmed
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Step 3: Select What To Keep

 

No one has  unlimited space! Which is why solid decluttering ideas include deliberate choices that truly epitomize your beloved family members.

If your Grandma was a tea drinker, a gardener or a deeply religious person, then keep her favorite tea cup, her cut glass flower vase, or her rosary beads. This makes it easier to let go of her ceramic knickknacks or crocheted afghans. You get the idea!

Certainly, you can increase the number of items if they take up less physical space, like pictures in a photo album or a digital picture frame. But consider truly narrowing down to the essence of that person… because you want to leave space in your home for you!

Once you have your choices defined, you can have fun with how you’re going to display the items. They won’t need to be hidden out of view any longer.

Perhaps you’ll create a gallery of framed photos. You might use some glassed shadow boxes to showcase costume jewelry or prized medals. In other words, incorporate the treasures into your present decor.

Paring them down to a select few will truly let them stand out as a testament to your family history.

best decluttering tips
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Step 4: Release The Rest With Love

 

Understand that gifted items from our family were given in the spirit of love. The intent was never to bog you down with something that didn’t bring you joy. Acknowledge the kind gesture but let go of what doesn’t suit your taste. Gifts shouldn’t come with strings attached, don’t you think?

Figure out the highest and best use of the things you will not retain. Start with your own family, in the event your children or siblings would appreciate and welcome any of those items. The key is this: ask!

Don’t assume you know what others will want. Listen and then accept their decisions. After all, it’s their home and so it’s their choice.

From there, it’s entirely up to you if you would prefer to realize a monetary return. Yet know that any selling activity will take time and effort, depending upon the demand for that item.

By investing a little time up front, you’ll realize if going the re-sale route is worth your while.

If you decide to bypass the resale step, there are so many local charities that can deftly route your donations to the highest needs in your community. 

Please don’t overlook the value of donating! It in no way means you are throwing money away or dishonoring your family member!

The money has already been spent when the item was first acquired by your relative. There was joy and use of the item until it was passed along to you. Now, you’re simply “paying it forward” when someone less financially fortunate eagerly and gladly accepts the item for their own use.

Isn’t that a better outcome than having it collect dust on a shelf or hide in a cabinet?

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The Wrap: This Post Dug Into Decluttering Ideas About Releasing Sentimental Stuff Without Guilt

When incorporating these decluttering ideas into your own routine, remember to work at your own pace. You control the process and no one is judging you. Even 15 minutes a day will have you ahead of where you were before you started. In fact, here is what will absolutely get you on your way: Motivation to Declutter: 5 Free Tools to Get Going & Keep Going!

Sentimental clutter is the hardest stuff to deal with … but it provides the biggest emotional release when it’s moved out so you can move on!

You can do this … I believe in you!

Your Turn!

What’s your sentimental clutter status? 

  • What will be your biggest challenge to release?
  • What decluttering ideas can you share with us?

Drop your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by! 

declutter and downsize

Declutter and Downsize: Lay the Groundwork for Really Remarkable Results in 2021!

If 2021 is the year for you to declutter and downsize, how do you plan to get this done? 

Sorry, I know: 2020 is barely in the rear-view mirror!

But just like any resolution that you set, it’s important to identify in advance where you want to head and why you want to get there. 

In my personal coaching sessions, I always suggest starting at the beginning. This means getting to the heart of what you want to accomplish.

Think of it this way: if you’ve always dreamed of visiting Paris, would you simply hop on a plane and show up? Unless you’re a total free spirit with unlimited time and resources, probably not! And the same logic applies to your desire to declutter and downsize, too. 

Today I’m sharing 7 key action steps to clarify your space clearing goals so you can cross them off the list this year! 

declutter and downsize

Today's Post lays The foundation for your Declutter and Downsize goals so you can get this done in 2021!

declutter and organize
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Step 1: I want to declutter and downsize because ...

Start with identifying why excess stuff messes with your emotions.

For instance, does it stir up uneasy feelings? No one really wants a home crammed with stuff they don’t use, need, or love. Too much of anything feels heavy. 

Or perhaps someone else feels embarrassed to entertain. So they postpone having family and friends over.

Yet another may feel frustrated with searching for things that are hidden in crammed drawers or closets. It sucks up time better used some other way.

And maybe someone feels anxious every time they view items associated with an Ex. It’s like reliving an unhappy situation over and over.

In other words, pause to figure out what your clutter does to bring you down and hold you in place. 

declutter and organize your home
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Step 2: I need to declutter and downsize because ...

Next, capture how your clutter blocks you from what you need to do.

Does your clutter prevent you from getting things done? There could be any number of things on hold until you begin to declutter and downsize in earnest.

Perhaps you need to move into a smaller space. The cost of maintaining a large home is not practical.

Maybe the piles of paperwork mean your bills are not always paid on time. The impact on your credit is real.

Or you’re consistently running late because your overflowing wardrobe makes it hard to get ready each day. There’s lot in there but it doesn’t all fit, flatter or feel good.

So think about what genuine needs you have that are hindered by your clutter and make note of them. 

how to declutter and organize your home
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Step 3: I hope to declutter and downsize so that I can ...

Now jot down your hopes and dreams of things you’d do … if only you had more time and money to pursue them.

What would you do if you had more resources? It’s amazing how clutter can hold us hostage!

How can we imagine something different if we never change? But change is hard to execute if we stay in place, surrounded by what no longer serves us well.

Wish you could attend a culinary school? Want to travel cross country in an RV? These dreams and more could be possible if you didn’t have to spend time and money maintaining more than what you need or use.

When you declutter and downsize into what accommodates your future goals, you can start making those dreams a reality!

declutter and clean
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Step 4: Schedule your D&D time

When will you fit in your declutter and downsize sessions? 

It’s essential to have it on your calendar. If it’s not planned, it will be easy for it to be deferred to another day. But when will that day happen?

Everyone’s capacity is different so figure out how frequently you can time block. And think about pairing your session right before or right after an activity you do faithfully. This “habit stacking”  approach helps get it done!

Additionally, start with just a couple sessions a week. This is a new habit so give yourself time to embrace it. It took time to accumulate the stuff you have. It will take time to let the excess go. Don’t overwhelm yourself and then burn out early! 

On the other hand, if you have a hard stop with a pending physical move, work your calendar backwards. With your date in mind, assign each room a set number of weeks to get them cleared.

For example, your kitchen may need 4 weeks but your guest room only needs 2 weeks. It’s just an estimate but as you dig in, you’ll figure out how many sessions are needed in each room to completely unclutter them.

The key is to get started now!

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Step 5: Start Small with your D&D sessions

How small is small? Think a drawer, a cabinet or a closet!

Sure, your goal is to space clear each room in your home. But trying to get an entire room done in one session may be impossible, even if you have a whole day set aside.

For one thing, you may get bogged down early if you encounter sentimental stuff. That’s the hardest to sort through! You may start to justify keeping much of it, even if you know it isn’t practical.

Secondly, breaking a room into sections is a great way to get small wins early on. It’s a manageable session and doesn’t disrupt using that room when your decluttering session is done for the day.

And thirdly, keeping the space clearing sessions to less than an hour is a smart way to keep your enthusiasm high. You may choose to conduct a few sessions during one day, but break them up with other tasks, for variety. You’ll feel much more accomplished when you actually complete a discreet area, as opposed to only getting part way through a large space. 

Manageable chunks keep your uncluttering goals on track!

downsize and declutter
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Step 6: Keep Track of your D&D sessions

It’s easy to feel discouraged when you think about how much more space clearing is ahead of you.

But when you log your results, you’ll realize just how much you’ve already accomplished! Your efforts will add up over time. 

How you choose to track your decluttering is up to you. It can be as simple as photos in an album on your phone or an old school notebook, listing the results of each session.

The point is to keep a record of your declutter and downsize journey. You’ll impress yourself with how much you’ve gotten done. And it will motivate you to keep on going!

Little steps add up to big results!

how to declutter and downsize
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Step 7: Keep on going!

You got this … don’t lose momentum now!

After just 30 days, you’ll be amazed how your declutter and downsize sessions have become a part of your regular routine. 

As you open up space in your home, your heart will likewise feel clear and open. Letting go of what you no longer need, use or want is a liberating step towards inviting all the possibilities head of you!

When your enthusiasm flags (and it happens to all of us), circle back to Step 1-3. Remind yourself why you’re doing this now.  Refresh your memory with what you will be able to do in the future. 

Now you can start to design your next life chapter, freely and joyfully! Step confidently where you want to go next!

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The Wrap: Today's post was all about crafting a declutter and downsize plan to clear space in 2021 for where you want to go next!

Feeling inspired to clear out the old to make way for the new?

Fantastic! Take control of your direction. Craft a mini-Manifesto for why clearing space makes sense for you in 2021. This is for your eyes only so be honest. And be prepared for real results to unfold in this New Year!

decluttering checklist

A Decluttering Checklist for Better Living Today, Not “Some Day”!

When there’s too much of everything in the house, it’s time to begin ticking off the action steps on a decluttering checklist!

 

Let’s face it: having too much of anything is not always a wonderful thing (apologies to Ms. Mae West)! 

Once we’re over 50, it’s time to start making different choices with what we stow in our homes. It’s common to hang on to things long after their utility has ended. But how to start decluttering when overwhelmed?

It calls for simple steps to begin … and a powerful plan to keep on going. When you dive into my decluttering checklist, you’ll start executing on a routine that opens up breathing room now

Don’t wait any longer … start clearing space so you can begin creating your next life chapter today!

decluttering checklist
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Today's Post Discloses A 6-Step Decluttering Checklist To Make Room For What Matters Now!

declutter checklist
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Step 1: Pick A Dedicated Time

Ever hear this one? After all, tomorrow is another day!”  

It’s none other than Scarlett O’Hara, our Gone With The Wind leading lady! My point is that unless you start with a plan for exactly when to insert your decluttering into your daily routine, it’s too easy for it to land on the back burner and languish.

We certainly start with the best of intentions. But invariably, our intent gets overridden when something else more tempting crops up.

So in order to maintain your decluttering goal, it’s critical to treat it seriously by assigning a specific time of day.

Give thought to when you can dedicate 30 minutes. In fact, having it “stacked”, or coupled with another habit will really ensure this becomes your new routine. This means doing it right before or immediately after another activity you do without fail.

For example, try decluttering first thing right before showering in the morning or immediately after dinner. Pairing two habits together creates a powerful association.

As a result, you will be more apt to declutter daily without having to overthink it.

declutter your home checklist
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Step 2: Select A Small Area

Next on the decluttering checklist? Target only small spaces in your home. For example, work on one drawer, a shelf, a counter or a closet.

It’s tempting to tackle an entire room. But odds are, it will start to feel onerous. You get bogged down with decision fatigue. Or you encounter sentimental things right off the bat. Now it feels heavy to keep going, ugh!

For this reason, I recommend that your decluttering checklist focus should be on tiny areas. Then mix it up to keep it interesting. Don’t stay in the same room unless that works better for you.

In the beginning, you will likely encounter the easy stuff: things that belong somewhere else or are clearly not worth keeping. These easy “wins” will strengthen you for making tougher decisions as you get into stuff “sticky” with sentiment.

There will be times that you feel angst or uncertainty with certain items. But your discomfort will be short-lived, thanks to focusing on just a small space for less than 30 minutes.

declutter a room in 30 minutes
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Step 3: Sort and Box Clutter

I advocate using with a very elementary two-step approach.

There are several other decluttering methods and they each have their pros and cons. You can always modify how you dispose of your belongings as you get proficient with sorting. But for now, do this!

 

Gather three grocery bags, bins or laundry baskets

The containers don’t have to be fancy and they don’t even need to match! Just use what you have on hand. You’ll start by designating them as “trash”, “donate” and “relocate”. So far, so good?

Sort on the following basis

  • Trash” is for anything broken, expired, torn, or missing parts.
  • Donate” is for anything you no longer use, like, or need but still has life in it.
  • Relocate” is for anything you’re keeping but belongs somewhere else in your house.

By the way, did you notice how this last bin will result in a neater space? Two birds, Baby … I told you this was a stellar decluttering checklist!

Don’t overthink as you examine your belongings. Generally, your first instinct is correct.

In fact, approach your decluttering with the idea that you’re sorting to keep what matters most now, instead of looking to reject what used to matter. In other words, have an upbeat mindset while working your decluttering checklist!

 

where to start decluttering
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Step 4: Dispose of Your Clutter

When your session is done, immediately deal with your bags or bins.

Toss the trash into your garbage can so that you don’t start second-guessing your decision. Do the same with your donations by stashing them in your car trunk. Once your trunk is full, make a run to your charity of choice. Out of sight, out of mind!

Lastly, put away your relocate items now, if you have extra time. If not, set the bin aside in a designated spot.

You may opt to put those things in the proper place once a week or every couple of days … you choose!

More importantly, this bin will start to create a mindful approach for you to put things where they belong the first time … pretty crafty, eh?!

decluttering and organizing
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Step 5: Acknowledge Your Accomplishments

When you’re done with your session, now do something to keep score of what you did.

Again, these are tiny steps so it will be the accumulated actions over time that become visible. So start a record of your results. For example, some folks like to use a wall or desk calendar to mark with stickers, stars, colored pens, etc. Imagine how gratifying it will feel to see your steady commitment to clearing space!

You may decide to track only the daily sessions completed. Or you might prefer to register the number of items leaving your house. Ultimately, it’s up to you to capture which decluttering aspect deserves a high five.

When you look back, you’ll be amazed with how the steady sum of small steps added up!

minimalist decluttering checklist

Step 6: Repeat As Needed

With this decluttering checklist, you have the beginnings of a new space clearing habit!

Decluttering is never a one-and-done process. But don’t let that deter you from starting or from continuing.

Instead, embrace the practice as part of being an individual who is always looking to improve and shift into a new phase of your life.

There will be times that it’s difficult to make space clearing choices. Yet this is why keeping your sessions short and frequent will enable you to release stuff you don’t need anymore. Over time, you’ll make peace with letting go of something that you couldn’t part with before.

You can do this … I believe in you!  

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The Wrap: This Post Provided a 6-Step Decluttering Checklist To Release Your Past & Embrace Your Future ... Now!

Creating and adhering to a new habit requires resolve and commitment.

  • Many talk about doing something but few follow through.
  • Starting small and repeating regularly is the key!
  • As you start to see results, you’ll find it easier to keep on going. 
online selling platforms

8 Tried and True Online Selling Platforms for Offloading Your Excess Stuff

With so many online selling platforms to choose from, how do you know which ones will be the best choice for you?

The app field is crowded and it can be confusing! So today, I’m sharing 8 online selling platforms that have stood the test of time.

The key is to match what you have to sell with the platform that will maximize your return in a reasonable amount of time.

Selling your stuff is not your full-time focus, right? That’s why it’s critical you select the best venue to showcase your stuff and sell it quickly. Because you have other things to do, too!

So grab your coffee, have a seat, and let’s check out your options!

online selling platforms

Today's Post Reviews the Pros and Cons of 8 Online Selling Platforms So You can land on the best place to sell your stuff!

best platform to sell online
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Online Selling Platforms | Option 1: eBay

eBay is a pioneer in online selling, having been around for over 25 years.

It’s a gigantic auction house where over 168 million active buyers can bid on your items! With bidding situations, it can take time to receive your desired price.

In contrast, you may choose to list your item as “Buy It Now“, meaning it’s a fixed, non-negotiable price.

There is an enormous buying audience for your goods but the competition is stiff. You’re competing not only with other individual sellers. In fact, there are wholesalers and corporation, too … not to mention fierce competition from China, as well!

eBay has a built-in algorithm, geared towards helping buyers locate specific items which can also be good for sellers.

But on the flip side, customer protection …even in falsified complaint situations …. can be at the expense of a legitimate seller.

Also, it’s not free to sell on eBay. You do get 40 free listings per month, but there are additional fees. For example, there is typically a 10% transaction fee (including shipping & handling) to use this venue. Your net profit is released three days after your tracking shows delivery.

However, if you enjoy an auction-like outcome and you have the time and patience to wait for the right buyer bid, eBay is your venue.

For eBay selling details, check out the step-by-step guide here.

Or, listen to this tutorial over here.

 

where is the best platform to sell online
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Online Selling Platforms | Option 2: Amazon

Amazon has evolved from an online bookstore into one of the world’s most visited marketplace websites.

It boasts massive traffic volume with separate retail websites in 15 countries! This means more buyers for your stuff.

Additionally, the “Fulfillment by Amazon” service handles both customer service and shipping on your behalf. Amazon has a traditional retail structure so you sell your items at a set price. You pay a fee only when  your item sells. But all this comes with higher fees and brutal competition.  

In comparison to eBay, Amazon has a better reputation for customer service and offers buyer perks such as same-day or two-day shipping. But the humongous size of both these online selling venues result in the risk of getting lost in the sea of sellers

Lastly, go directly to Amazon for the latest facts on selling right here. 

online selling items
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Online Selling Platforms | Option 3: Etsy

Etsy takes us into a narrower market when it popped on the scene in 2005. 

It’s positioned as an online platform for crafters, artists and vintage aficionados. Currently ranking as #3 behind eBay and Amazon,  it’s an ideal venue if you have handmade, vintage or highly unique items. Think crafting and jewelry supplies, specialty fabrics or handmade personal products.

Still, despite the exclusive focus, this venue attracts some 30 million shoppers worldwide! Similar to eBay, you’ll pay a listing fee but your Etsy listing will last for 4 months instead of just 10-30 days. This fee is charged whether or not your item sells.

The fixed pricing model is also cheaper and simpler than that of the above two powerhouses.  So keep Etsy in mind if your items fit this handmade, one-of-kind product profile.

To further explore this online selling platform, head here.

 

top online selling platforms
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Online Selling Platforms | Options 4 & 5: Bonanza and Ruby Lane

These two online selling platforms are still relative newcomers.

Nevertheless, they are on the rise and worth checking out if your items fall into the Etsy categories of unique, vintage, antique, or quirky.

Both are smaller than the preceding platforms but they have respectable reach along with more reasonable fees. They specialize further in the following sub-categories:

  • Bonanza
    • Think garden gnomes or taxidermy (although product diversification has been creeping in)
    • Fixed price items as opposed to a bidding situation
    • To get started, click here.
  • Ruby Lane
    • Specifically for actual antiques and vintage-style goods
    • Excellent customer service reputation
    • To get started, go here.
Facebook and OfferUp
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Online Selling Platforms | Options 6 & 7: FB and OfferUp

Facebook Marketplace groups are  definitely trumping Craigslist these days!

Simply enter terms to find and join local groups. For example, type in “Scottsdale, AZ Buy and Sell” in the FB search bar if you live in Scottsdale, Arizona. When you click to join a group, others will be suggested to you, as well.

These groups are very popular with buyers such as young moms or small community residents looking for online garage sale deals. The sky is the limit for what goods are offered.

You are on your own with seller protection but you will also avoid listing and shipping fees. You need to “bump” or refresh your listing to stay current.

OfferUp merged with LetGo  in July 2020 to create one big mobile marketplace.

It provides an easy way to sell locally with payments tendered with either cash or via Stripe, the electronic payment processing partner. There are some fees involved to consider but it’s still a compelling way to sell just about anything online.   

The scoop on using OfferUp is right here. 

what is the best online selling platform

Online Selling Platforms | Option 8: Craigslist

Craigslist is the world’s largest online classified ads website!

You can sell almost anything here. It’s super basic with no fees and no frills but you’re completely on your own to work with buyers.

Craigslist requires that you sell locally, unlike eBay and Amazon. This means that you arrange for pick-up and drop-off of your items.

When all else fails, you can shift your items to the “free” section, which can come in handy. You need to regularly refresh and repost your listing to ensure you are at the top of the category. So you save on the listing and shipping fees with this venue but you lose protection with questionable buyers, i.e., passing off counterfeit money.

Craig’s List has been around for a long time but contends with stiff competition from other online selling platforms such as FB Marketplace and OfferUp. However, it may still an active player in your community…so why not check it out?

Find a simple video with a Craigslist tutorial over here.

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: Today's post shared 8 online selling platforms to help you rehome your stuff and to deposit some dollars back in your wallet, as well!

There is definitely cash to be claimed using any of these or other online platforms.

But first do your homework! Review your things to sell with a critical eye. Realize that you have a history with the items so your emotions may skew your pricing decisions. Research how similar items are selling. Finally, understand what is entailed to close the deal.

Are you ready to turn your excess stuff into cash?

secondhand stores

Second Hand Stores Can Be Dynamite Decluttering Partners

Once you’ve decided to re-sell things you no longer need or use, it’s time to learn which second hand stores are going to be your best resource.

There are three different types of second hand stores: consignment shops, pawn shops, and thrift shops. Each is unique with what it can offer.

Equally important is understanding the entire selling process. From what items sell best where, to how much they pay out, it’s all about maximizing your return. 

So let’s dive right in and explore what second hand stores can do for you!  

Today's Post Focuses On Second Hand Stores & How to Land on the venue best for you!

consignment stores near me
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Second Hand Stores | 1. Consignment Shops

How They Operate

Consignment shops typically pay you when your items sell. A few may buy your things outright but this can be less common. 

These second hand stores may also charge a small flat fee in addition to the percentage payout. Your return will be larger if you agree to take a store credit instead of cash. After all, this makes sense when you help with moving other inventory off the store floor.

The store will quote you a starting price. Be sure to ask if there are periodic markdowns that would impact your return.

Many shops will have a set cycle for when they mark down inventory. They need to ensure goods are not just sitting and taking up valuable floor space.

If your item doesn’t move after a certain amount of time, you may be asked to pick it up. But they may also offer to donate your items to a local charity on your behalf, which saves you a return trip. 

There are numerous specialty consignment shops so there are too many to address individually. Some carry a little bit of everything and others specialize in furniture, clothing or household items. Many are independently owned and operated as opposed to a chain of retail fronts.

Moreover, it can make more sense to take your stuff to a store that focuses on a particular type of item, i.e., an upscale shop selling designer apparel or a furniture store carrying only contemporary pieces. It stands to reason that specialized second hand stores can attract more potential buyers.

Lastly, expect to receive between 40-60% of the final sale price.

The Bottom Line

Be sure your items are in clean, serviceable condition. If the store politely passes on your stuff, don’t argue with the staff.

They are making decisions based on their professional knowledge and the current demand. Ultimately, they are not interested in having your stuff collect dust on the sales floor and nor would you be, either!

Also, until someone buys your stuff, you are in a holding pattern, waiting for your cash. If you’re looking for a quick payout, a consignment store will not be your best option. 

Therefore, a pawn shop would be a better option for selling your stuff, if time is of the essence. 

second hand stores near me
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Second Hand Stores| 2. Pawn Shops

How They Operate

Not everyone immediately thinks of pawn stores as viable second-hand stores.

Until popular TV shows brought these stores to the forefront recently, there was always an aura of shame and intrigue. Why did someone sell their family heirlooms? What financial downturn occurred?

However, there are distinct advantages to checking one out. Here, you turn possession of the item over to the store and receive an immediate payout before you leave. 

You are not impacted if it sells at an extraordinarily low price or never sells at all! 

Pawn shops can be good venues for items that are in less demand at other second-hand stores. Think taxidermy, electronics, guns, tools or musical instruments.

In fact, a pawn store is a very good venue to sell gold or diamonds! Just be sure to compare their bid to other second hand stores that exclusively buy and sell used jewelry before moving ahead with the transaction. 

On average, pawn shops pay 25-60% of the resale value of your items.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking to convert your stuff into cash quickly, these second-hand stores will pay you on the spot.

However, keep in mind that payment up front means you will realize less than if you were willing to wait for a buyer at a traditional consignment shop. So if you can be patient, circle back to option one above.

best thrift stores near me
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Second Hand Stores| 3. Thrift Shops

How They Operate

Thrift shops are the third type of second-hand store. What makes them distinct is that most operate as a nonprofit business. This means that many will not pay for your items.

However, I mention these as they are also a viable resource for offloading excess personal items. That in itself, is a bonus!

You may not receive monetary compensation but you may qualify for a tax credit (consult your financial advisor). They are often linked to a business such as a local hospice. Or think of Goodwill. Profits are funneled back to the parent business, which ultimately provides jobs in your community or funds other worthy initiatives. So ultimately, you also get the satisfaction of helping out others in some fashion.  

The Bottom Line

When clearing space quickly is more important than a monetary payback, thrift stores are an ideal outlet. Not only will your stuff get a second life with new owner. Your donations are converted into dollars that support a worthwhile service in your community, too.

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: Second Hand Stores Can Be a Fabulous Outlet for Cashing in on your clutter!

 

Which second hand stores make sense for you? Keep the following factors in mind when decluttering:

  • Time: how quickly do you need to turn your items into cash?
  • Money: how much (if any) return is enough for you?
  • Specialty: are your items rare or of a specific genre?
  • Donation: would you be satisfied with supporting a higher cause?

Some folks enjoy the whole selling experience and seem to really cash out. Others, not so much. Like anything else, it takes time and energy to makes the rounds in order to see what you can get. 

Something is better than nothing but at some point, diminishing returns can set in. Charitable donations start to look much more appealing! You make a difference to someone who can’t afford new and you may realize an income tax credit, too.

estate sale

How an Estate Sale Quickly Declutters Everything (But the Kitchen Sink!)

Imagine selling roomfuls of things, without having to pack, unpack, load, unload … if this sounds ideal, then an estate sale may be right for you!

An estate sale is one more option for decluttering your excess stuff and getting a financial return, as well. I’ve linked other selling options at the end of this post.

Whichever route you take, why not cash in on the stuff you no longer need, use, or want? 

We begin with a definition of “estate sale” so it’s clear how it works. Then, we’ll review how to start the process and have one run in your home. 

Today's Post Covers The Basics of An Estate Sale To Declutter Your Whole House Lickety-Split!

estate sale
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The Definition of "Estate Sale"

First, let’s make sure we’re on the same page. Sometimes folks use the terms “estate sale“, “tag sale“, “garage sale” or “yard sale” interchangeably. But there are distinct differences!

For our purposes here, an estate sale refers to a third party managing the liquidation of personal belongings. It’s a formal process handled by a professional from start to finish. 

The sale takes place inside the home, whether in just a few select rooms or the entire footprint of the house.

The word “estate” can conjure up images of high end goods, collectibles, or fine antiques. But this is not always the case. In fact, just about anything you would find in a home can and has been sold at an estate sale!

Also, an estate sale was traditionally used to liquidate personal belongings after someone died. It was a quick way to settle debts. However, an estate sale can also be a practical approach for clearing space when the goal is to declutter, downsize, or divorce. 

Interestingly, estate sales can be run by the homeowner and can occur on-line, too. For today, we are only examining the on-site professionally managed approach.

estate sale definition
image by Kathy Images - stock.adobe.com

Other Types of Sales

In contrast, most tag, garage, and yard sales are run by the owners themselves or with the help of a family member or friend.

These types of sales tend to take a more casual approach. For example, items to sell are located in the garage, driveway, or front yard to keep buyers out of the house!

Additionally, prices are indicated with stickers. Certain tables or racks may have a sign with one price for all items placed there.  Some buyers often want to counter the posted prices, as well. Once a final price is agreed upon, cash and sometimes even personal checks are accepted.

Now, back to the estate sale process!

estate sales today
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Kick Off An Estate Sale With These 3 Steps

Step 1: Locate a professional

In fact, talk to more than just one for comparison. A complimentary consultation allows the professional to evaluate your items, to explain their procedures, and to disclose the cost of using their services.

Always begin with gathering recommendations from friends or neighbors. Or, do a basic online search for professionals in your area. Check for reviews and research how long they’ve been in business. Confirm their standing with the Better Business Bureau, too.

Then, when you’ve performed your due diligence, you can sit back and relax once you’ve selected who will do all the work for you!

Step 2: Listen to what they believe will be salable and at what price

A professional can tell you what is hot and what is not in today’s market.

Understand that what you paid for something or how old it is has little to do with what it will sell for now. This is one of the hard truths to accept!

But in regards to certain items, such as coins or artwork, you may also choose to have them professionally appraised in order to confirm their current value.

And keep in mind that if something can be sold, they will want to do it because they typically work on a percentage basis. So if you hear that you’re better off donating certain things for the income tax deduction, it’s likely true.

Step 3: Request a written estimate

Be sure it includes a clear explanation of how and when your net proceeds are distributed.

Typically, you are paid within 3 days of the end of the sale. Estate sale fees range anywhere from 20-45% of the gross profits. It depends on your market and on the exact services provided.

Obviously, they are managing the sale from start to finish. But they may also handle any unsold items for you by offering to donate those items to charity on your behalf. There is always trash removal and after-sale clean up to perform, as well. Therefore, ask about related services so you know who is doing what.

estate sale near me
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What Happens During An Estate Sale

Reputable professionals adhere to industry best practices to help make your estate sale a success. Some of the most important considerations include the following:

  1. Weekend hours are a must to ensure all potential buyers can attend the sale. An estate sale is typically run 1-3 days.
  2. Colorful and enticing verbiage is used in the street signage, Internet and print ads. Artful and thoughtful display of your items is also an essential step.
  3. Extensive price research is conducted to get top dollar for you. Remember, the professional is paid on a percentage basis. So it’s in their best interest to maximize your return.
  4. Cash or credit cards are mandatory for all sales. An actual cash register is used to provide accuracy and security.
  5. Adequate preparation includes cleaning and minor repair of items to ensure selling at top dollar.
estate sale in my area
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Estate Sale or Consignment Shop?

How do you know which approach will work better for you?

To begin with, the professional will guide you. Although there are numerous estate sale companies, some choose to focus on high demand antiques, vintage, or one-of-a-kind items.

If many of your items are common brands or styles such as Corningware, Colonial furniture, or Ikea bookcases, you may be advised to consider the consignment route.

This is not to say that common household good don’t sell well in an estate sale. They can! But you should also explore your other options, anyway.

So talk to a few different estate sale professionals. Call or visit nearby consignment shops with pictures of your items. 

Then make a final, informed selling decision based on your research and your personal timeline.

Now go forth and sell!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: This Post Shared The Basics of How An Estate Sale Moves All The Clutter Out In One Fell Swoop!

  • Research the selling options available to you. 
  • Remember to factor in how much time you have to liquidate your belongings.
  • Realize there is a tremendous amount of expertise and energy required to sell. Keep this in mind when you use a professional.

decluttering tips

3 Decluttering Tips Which Absolutely Maximize Your Return When Selling Your Stuff

It is essential that you understand the impact of the 3 expert decluttering tips shared here, when you’re ready to cash in on what you don’t need, use, or want any more.

When might selling make sense for you? You may struggle with letting something go because you spent a lot of money on it. Your children might have no interest in the item. Or you simply believe the item has high resale value. 

Regardless of why you want to pursue selling, the key to a successful transaction is three-fold: the current market demand; the time/effort investment; and the available venues.

Knowing what to reasonably expect will shorten the sales cycle and optimize your price. 

Can’t argue with that, right?! Let’s do this!

decluttering tips
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This post shares 3 decluttering steps to amplify the best return for things you sell in the present market environment!

tips to declutter your home
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Tip #1: Do Your Research

 

It’s smart to investigate if your items are in demand.

For example, Mid-Century Modern furniture is in vogue and has a good chance of yielding some dollars for you. On the other hand, Colonial furniture? Not so much, especially if you don’t live in the New England states.

And remember Precious Moments? What about Haviland china? Some of these collectables are worth more than others. However, many are collecting dust in resale shops, despite their high appeal a decade or three ago.

So start with exploring venues where particular items are often resold. For example, talk to local resale shop owners for their opinions on what type of furniture or which designer clothing is sought after in your town.

If it’s fine art that you’re looking to sell, check with a local art appraiser or art gallery for a professional opinion. In all cases, do a search on eBay for clues to prices of items similar to yours.

Ultimately, due diligence on your part will save you the disappointment of pricing items too high and having them sit idle in your home.

image by anna nekrashevich from pexels

Tip #2: Understand the Return

Determine a realistic price point so you can decide if it’s worth the work needed to sell your stuff.

Ask Yourself the Following Questions

  • Which selling method(s) will you use?
  • Do you need to clean or repair the items pre-sale?
  • How will the buyers receive the items: do you need to ship them or will they pick them up?
  • Will you sell on-line or on consignment?

Unless you choose to sell on your own, utilizing any 3rd party will reduce your net dollars. It stands to reason since they are doing work for you, such as attracting, displaying and dealing with the buyers.

Most resale shops put a time limit on how long items will be offered. They typically have a rigid markdown policy enforced as time goes by, too. This may be hard to accept but the shop owners need to maximize the return on their merchandise.

It behooves them to have their displays refreshed regularly. After all, if things aren’t selling, they need to move off center stage of the sales floor.

Factor in the Cost of Your Efforts

It take time to inventory, price, and prepare for a sale!

You may need extra hands to deal with the buyers. The same goes for selling on-line, whether through Craig’s List, a FB group, or e-Bay. Your ad needs to be smartly worded, refreshed, and optimized regularly until the items sell.

Potential buyers will have questions that you need to answer promptly. Some will still want to negotiate price or show up with less money, hoping you will settle. Others will want you to hold the item until they can stop by. Finally, a few may be “no-shows”… so the process starts all over … sigh!

You might be pleasantly surprised with what you may realize from your selling efforts. Or, you may be disappointed to realize the deep discount required to sell belongings that have served you well.  

However, “something is better than nothing” may become your new motto! Either way, be informed and prepared for what you need to do to capture some dollars.

decluttering tips for home
image by nataliya vaitkevich from pexels

Tip #3: Land on a Selling Venue

Ready to check out your options? Hang on ’cause there’s a lot of them!

Based on your research, (back up to Tip #2 if you didn’t do this yet, haha!) now you can decide if you want to do this solo or if you prefer some help.

If you prefer to sell on your own, you can do this one of two ways:

  • Using local apps such as OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace groups
  • Selling outside your hometown, using global apps, such as Poshmark, eBay, or thredUP.

With the first option, you’ll meet face-to-face to deliver the goods. But with the second option, you’ll be mailing the items somewhere in the world!

Otherwise, if you want help, any “brick & mortar” resale shop will do the bulk of the work for you. All you have to do is bring in your items and they will select what they believe will sell on their floor.

You can identify local options simply by Googling, “second-hand stores near me” or “resale shops near me”. Always call ahead to ensure they are interested in your stuff. Emailing pictures cuts back on wasted trips.

Finally, head down to the end of this post for related posts that share the latest various on-line selling sites! It’s an ever-changing lineup of possibilities but I’m always updating them annually.

I focus on sharing the best decluttering tips with you … because there’s always someone out there who wants to buy your stuff!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: This post was all about 3 top decluttering tips to maximize your reselling efforts!

Your turn!

  • Have you sold stuff? How did that go?
  • What would you do differently? What did you learn?

Drop your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by!

Swedish Death Cleaning

Swedish Death Cleaning: A Savvy Celebration of Life (Really!)

Swedish Death Cleaning Clears Space for a satisfying Second Half in Life!

Swedish Death Cleaning, or “Döstädning”,  has rapidly garnered interest all over the world! Yet it’s not a new Swedish phenomenon. And despite the ominous sounding name, it is not about cleaning or dusting after someone has died! 

Instead, it refers to a national steadfast approach of streamlining your own stuff when you reach the second half of your life. After all, what will become of the possessions we have accumulated over our lifetime? Who will deal with all our stuff?

So is it a movement that makes sense for us? Margareta Magnusson, renowned author of “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” thinks so! And what a gem of an author, who described herself as “somewhere between 80 and 100 years of age!”

To be clear, it is actually considered to be a joyful process! You retain things embedded with the best memories and release items associated with negative experiences. You sort through, making decisions with what stays and what goes. 

Today's post shares the 3 Swedish Death Cleaning steps Margareta recommends to enhance this popular process. 

the gentle art of Swedish death cleaning
image by gary barnes from pexels

1. Announce Your Decluttering Intentions

Declaring your Swedish Death Cleaning plan creates accountability for you to follow through!

Just like boldly stating a New Year’s resolution to shed a few pounds, share your plans to begin your döstädning process. This alllows your family and friends to support you along the way.

And as you progress, your everyday life feels smoother and more efficient. This will also provide momentum to keep going strong.

Moreover, the resulting byproduct of a simpler and better organized life is not reserved for just those over 50. Folks of all ages are encouraged to adopt this decluttering practice!

After all, the sooner you take stock of what you’ve accumulated, the quicker you hone in on what matters now.

what is Swedish death cleaning
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2. Embrace Your Swedish Death Cleaning Phase

Understand that this is a slow, deliberate process.

It’s not a marathon! It should not be rushed.

In truth, the Swedish Death Cleaning process is really a revisiting of your life. You are examining what gave joy and what caused sorrow; what is meaningful and what is no longer relevant.

By taking your time while examining your possessions, you honor your past. You reflect on what has shaped you thus far. And you begin to formulate where you want to go in the future.

In a way, you can think about Swedish Death Cleaning as an ongoing personal retreat with therapeutic benefits!

Swedish death cleaning book
image by samson katt from pexels

3. Reward Yourself Frequently

Because this is not a race, your Swedish Death Cleaning sessions should be reasonably short.

Therefore, allot a specific amount of time. Focus on a particular small area, such as a drawer or a closet. Then immediately follow your session with a favorite activity. For example, every 60 minute clearing session might be followed with 30 minutes of reading or walking.

Ultimately, the point is to remain upbeat and energized after your sorting sessions. After all, you’re still in your prime years when you start the process. There is time to rewrite your narrative if you so decide.

In other words, you can change your direction! 

You can be more in control than ever with the legacy you leave to your loved ones. How empowering is that?!

The Wrap with Mary V
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The Wrap: This Post Shared 3 Swedish Death Cleaning Aspects Which Clear the Way to Your Next Life Chapter!

Your turn!

  • Have you started examining your own possessions?
  • What do you want to happen with your stuff when you’re gone?

Share your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by!

decluttering strategies

Decluttering Strategies To Clear Out 5 Small Spaces For Immediate Impact!

When we use savvy decluttering strategies, space clearing does not have to be an all-day project!

And one component of a savvy method is when it takes less than hour from start to finish. If you can carve out more time than that, wonderful! But it’s not necessary. 

In other words, when we employ quick decluttering strategies to clear out high traffic zones, we can get immediate gratification. We will see and enjoy the fabulous results daily, as opposed to clearing out our attic or basement.

Small bites with this approach will then motivate us to keep going. Maybe now we’ll feel ready to tackle the attic! More doing, less delaying … how good is that? 

So let’s get to today’s handpicked 5 small spaces! 

decluttering strategies

Today is all about using smart decluttering strategies in tiny spaces to achieve big results!

extreme decluttering

Decluttering Strategies | #1: Handbag or Tote

Start with your workhorse: the survival bag which contains the things you [think you] need on a daily basis. Is it possible that the bigger the bag, the more extras you lug around?

Fashion rules waffle between oversized Neverfull totes and compact Gucci clutches. Regardless, taking 10 minutes to sort through the contents makes sense. I mean, who doesn’t accumulate crumpled tissues, loose change, stray mints and other miscellaneous passengers that need to exit?

And go ahead and file (or shred if not needed) those receipts. Toss the scraps of paper. Remove the old makeup products. When you’re decluttering and organizing your bag on a weekly basis, like on a Sunday night, you’ll be ready for the start of the week, Monday morning!

In fact, you may even conclude you don’t need to carry such a large handbag. Or, you might revel in using the same but albeit much lighter bag…you choose!

 

decluttering techniques
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Decluttering Strategies | #2: Makeup 

Isn’t it amazing how cosmetics seem to multiply like bunnies in the bathroom drawers? These small spaces quickly get jam-packed. We accumulate free samples. We try different colors. Or we snag the latest celebrity endorsed makeup. Before you know it, you have more products than you will ever use!

But what if you set into a box or a specified drawer only the items you currently used in the last few weeks? It might surprise you to see how many remain behind that you just don’t touch. How many “some day” or “just in case” items do you need? Think about it!

 Whatever you don’t plan to keep, consider donating unopened items to a local women’s shelter. Everyone deserves a chance to look their best, don’t you think?

And don’t forget: all products have a limited shelf life. Consider replacing your makeup every 6-9 months. Because no one wants a skin or eye infection … these are supposed to be beauty enhancers, not detractors!

 

decluttering and organizing
image by jessica lewis from pexels

Decluttering Strategies | #3: Kitchen Counter

Why is the kitchen counter such a magnet for stuff unrelated to cooking? You walk in the door and automatically deposit things there!

Mail, keys, receipts, sunglasses … any number of miscellaneous items land there. Unfortunately, many never leave and then there’s barely any work surface for meal prep.

My suggestions? Start designating specific homes for the things you use and carry back in every day. Have a decorative bowl or hook where your keys go. Take 5 minutes to sort through the mail and do this right over the trash can so you can immediately toss the junk mailers. Anything that needs action, set in a designated folder for review later. Consider a specified day/time to handle that paperwork.

Decluttering a room in 30 minutes becomes super easy when you create daily routines to put things where they belong the first time. Then you can actually get cooking when it’s meal time!

where to start decluttering
image by burst from pexels

Decluttering Strategies | #4: Nightstands

Here are more small spaces which become catchall surfaces. And in a room meant for rest and relaxation! If you think about it, the only things that really belong here should be supportive for a good night’s sleep or a romantic interlude.

However, most folks tend to deposit their phone or electronic device next to the bed. It’s the first thing they reach for when they wake up. It’s not a healthy practice! You might be surprised how much it actually interferes with your mood and mindset.

The first time I left it in the kitchen felt very odd … like I was missing a body part, lol! But now, it feels liberating to have it in another room. And I’ll admit, I am better at springing out of bed in the morning … so I can get to my phone!

Take five now and remove all the odds and ends that have landed on your night stand. Imagine how refreshing it will be to see a calming vignette of what matters when you wake up in the morning. You’ll never want to turn out the light on a cluttered nightstand again!

declutter a room in 30 minutes
image by max vakhtbovych from pexels

Decluttering Strategies | #5: Refrigerator

Lastly, think about how often this appliance gets opened and what may have overstayed its welcome inside. Generally, the doors are chock full of condiments rarely if ever used. Fruits and veggies have the shortest lifespan of your fridge contents so turnover is critical in the produce drawers.

Pausing to clear out and wipe down the surfaces is a smart way to take inventory before heading on your next grocery run. And it never hurts to pitch the items of temptation if you’re embarking on a clean eating regimen, does it!

The Wrap with Mary V
image by content pixie from pexels

The Wrap: Today we considered just a few of the many small spaces you can dig into when you are ready to kick out decluttering strategies in an hour or less. 

Take a stroll around your home and make note of small decluttering zones that you could conquer in less than an hour. Then when you’re ready to kick on some short but effective decluttering and organizing, refer to your list and get going!

To avoid getting distracted, have a bag or a bin to deposit items that belong elsewhere. Put those items away where they belong at the end of your session. Afterwards, enjoy the sense of accomplishment…you’ve earned it!

For more tiny tips, start with reading 

Clutter: What Exactly Is It & How Do We Collect So Much of It? 

Or check out this video on eliminating visual clutter over here!

Your turn!

  • Which small spaces are clutter magnets in your home?
  • How do you plan to tackle those hot zones?

Drop your thoughts below … and thanks for stopping by!  

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