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First there was Hoarders on TLC and now there are shows showcasing those who choose to downsize and live minimally. While I am not a minimalist, I do find having a clean, clutter-free home to be appealing. There are many reasons why we tend to want to hang onto old clothes, objects, or useless items. We often feel as though we may need it again or that it holds a precious memory. However, I have found getting rid of the clutter and maintaining a clean, functional house saves time and avoids added stress.

While most of us are not hoarders, we can probably go through our houses and pick out items we don’t need. Recently, I started really going through my home in an attempt to de-clutter. I found myself annoyed with the inconvenience of cleaning up everything and that every space in my house seemed to be full. With the goal of creating a home that was simple to clean, I set to work in figuring out what we truly needed.


When sorting through things, you should consider whether the item provides a practical use, if it causes frustration, and if it is of value to you. Finding these three answers will help streamline the cleaning and de-cluttering process.

Does the item provide a use? I must confess, we stored a broken TV for way too long. I have found identifying whether the item provides a use first makes it easier for me to get rid of the clutter. If something is broken, be honest, are you going to fix it? I grew up with parents who fixed everything. However, I didn’t inherent that fixer-upper gene so broken items don’t usually serve a purpose in our home. Throw out or donate those items!

Does it cause frustration? This is my favorite question to ask, especially when it comes to clothing. While my jeans may fit (serving a purpose!), they may be uncomfortable. Since I already have enough jeans, I don’t need to keep a pair that cause me frustration. Donating clothing that is still in good shape is a great option. There are also many places where you can even sell used clothing such as thredUP.

>> Read more: Why Your Cluttered Closet is Cluttering Your Life

Is there value in the item? This doesn’t need to be a monetary value; it could be emotional value. Old prom pictures, my wedding dress that takes up half a closet, and the notes my husband wrote me all hold value. No, they don’t hold a purpose but sometimes it is acceptable to store a few precious things. This one can be tricky, though, because you can’t store everything. If I am struggling to get rid of something, I may pack it up and come back to it in a year or so. It is a lot easier to go through and get rid of adorable baby clothes now that my son is a toddler rather than when he had just grown out of them. If you simply can’t get yourself to throw or donate something, pack it away — but be sure to go through your storage once a year so it doesn’t accumulate too much!

These three tips have helped me go through my home and declutter a significant amount. This has made cleaning easier and less time consuming, leaving me more opportunity to enjoy my clutter-free home.