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Time to De-clutter?

Whether you are selling your home, downsizing, or just sick of looking at all the STUFF in your house, you’ve likely been considering a de-cluttering initiative. If so, here is a primer for how to get started and some helpful resources too.


First – you aren’t alone! The blog site But First, Coffee assures us that while only approximately 5% of American households have a hoarding problem (different and more significant than clutter), at least 90% of us are affected by clutter in our homes. Clutter isn’t just extra bits and pieces lying around – it’s the stuff that gets in the way of your home being a peaceful place for you and your family to enjoy your lives.


Second – don’t be intimidated by the experts who claim you must do it all at once! While Marie Kondo’s famous KonMari method advises tackling the whole house by category, other experts reassure us that it’s perfectly ok to take it slowly and in bite-sized chunks that will fit into your busy life. Don’t get me wrong – Marie Kondo is THE expert, and her method is both all-encompassing AND spiritually satisfying – but if you are looking for simple ways to get started and feel good about your surroundings, this article is for you.


The following process should take you no more than 20 minutes. Are you ready? Let’s go!


Start by picking a place you would take great satisfaction from de-cluttering. Start small – think dresser drawer, junk drawer, book shelf, or shoe rack vs. laundry room, garage, or attic. Take everything out and then clean the drawer or rack.


Make three piles (using trash bags is even better as this will expedite your stuffs’ exit once you are finished.


1.      Keep

2.      Donate

3.      Trash


The Keep pile should be your smallest. This includes things you actually USE and LIKE. NOT things you think you might use someday, or hope will fit you again soon. (Example: keep 3 potholders, discard the other 8; keep 2 swimsuits that are in good repair and fit you, discard the other 4 that are discolored, stretched out, and have strawberry margarita stains on them.)


Donate should be the largest pile. There are so many local organizations who can use your things (see list at the bottom of this blog.)


And Trash should be those things are no longer useful to anyone.


Put the Keeps back in their place – in a neat and orderly way. And then STOP. Take a moment to appreciate what you’ve done. See how much neater things are? Celebrate! And notice the elapsed time – that was FAST! Commit to tackling another space later this week. Once you have had a win like the one you just enjoyed, you should be more motivated to do it again. So, get it scheduled before you lose the will! And involve more family members next time too.


Helpful resources



·       The Life-changing Magic of De-cluttering and Tidying Up  Marie Kondo

·       The Swedish Death Cleaning Bible: The Complete Guide to Quickly Organize and Declutter Your Spaces for Happier Living Linn Sloberg

·       De-Cluttering at the Speed of Life Dana K, White



·       Becoming Minimalist

·       ClutterBug

·       Organized Home

·       But First, Coffee


Local organizations that need and want your donations:

·       PossAbilities Plus. Their thrift store funds services for young adults with special needs. Atlantic Beach. 904.595.5381

·       BEAM. Helping low-income beaches residents avoid hunger and homelessness. Jax Beach. 904.241.2326

·       Betty Griffin Center and Thrift Shop. Helping victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. St John’s County. 904.471.4716

·       Safe Pet Rescue Thrift Store. Funds a no-kill rescue shelter in St. Augustine. St. Augustine. 904.460.0556

Did you know that decluttering and staging assistance is included free of charge when you list your home for sale with me?  This is one of the quickest ways to add value to your home without any additional cost beyond the listing fee!  If you're thinking about selling any time soon, let me know and we can begin this process early to allow the time needed to get your house neat and organized.  

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