Decluttering in 3 Steps

The Quick Guide to Decluttering

I want to help prepare you for one of the biggest projects for Sellers or Buyers: packing. More specifically, deciding what to pack and what to let go. One of the most beneficial things to do when packing is decluttering. However, decluttering is time-consuming to get started the moment you think about moving! A less cluttered house is easier to move and, trust me, packing is more difficult than you remember it being. It’s always more difficult. The last thing you want is deciding what stays and what goes on moving day.

If you have over 10 years of house clutter check out this detailed decluttering guide for additional advise: What to ask yourself when Decluttering.

Step 1 – The Numerous

If you have an overflowing Tupperware cupboard, avalanche prone linen closet, or a jam-packed garage you are not alone! When decluttering one of the best places to start is with “the numerous”. These are things you know you have too many of. Be reasonable with the amount of anything you own from throw pillows to glasses.

If you have trouble letting things go, box up half of what you have and set it aside to see if you miss it. This means if you decide to keep them when moving the objects are already conveniently boxed. If you decide to donate or toss them… the objects are already conveniently boxed. It’s a win/win and helps you reassess how much of an object you need without having to commit at that moment.


Step 2 – The Necessities

Once you get your decluttering gears turning it is time to tackle the necessities. At this step you decide what you “need” and what you only “want”. This boils down to “Do I need it?”. Do you really need a chipped bowl? How about the lawn chair that is only used on the 4th of July? What about that rice cooker you used twice?

If you decide the item is not a “need” but a “want”, you can run it through a quick equation. Compare the amount used vs. the space occupied. If the amount used is greater than the space occupied keep it. If the amount used is less than the space occupied get rid of it. There could be additional factors such as how important is the time you use the item. If you have two yearly parties that require a folding table that might be important enough to keep it even if it is only used twice a year.

Step 3 – The Sentimental

In my experience as a Realtor and average person, sentimental objects are the hardest to let go of which is why it’s the last step. There are some things you just can’t let go. Either you never will or you’re not ready yet. That’s alright, but keep this in mind when decluttering the rest of your house. The more you get rid of elsewhere the more space you have for the sentimental objects.

The most helpful thing to ask yourself is “Do I want to keep this forever?”. If you don’t want to keep it forever then today might as well be the day you get rid of it. A second question is, “Can I capture this sentiment in a different way?”. This might be a Shutterfly book, an album on your phone, or a paragraph you write that captures the feelings you attach to the object. Any of these methods can help you keep the sentiment while letting go of the object.

Visit these other posts for more help planning your move.

1 – 5 Ways to Showcase Your Home for Successful Showings

2 – 3 Reasons for the Low Inventory in Real Estate and Why It Matters

3 – How We Determine Your Home’s Value

If you have any questions, please let me know, I’m always happy to help. You can give me a call at 612-889-6496 or send an email to [email protected].

Read what Sheryl’s clients are saying about working with her and the Selling South of the River team!

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