How to Get Rid of Items You Don’t Actually Need

Think you can't let go of items around your home? Think again!

Amanda Thomas
6-minute read
Episode #199

Pretend You’re Moving

What if someone knocked on your door and offered you triple your home’s value if you could be moved out in 30 days? Even though it would take a decent amount of time and effort to get things sorted and moved out of the house, you’d probably take them up on their offer, right?

If you are having trouble identifying what items in your home can be gotten rid of, start thinking about what you would keep if you were moving. What items would you get rid of because you didn’t want to pay to have packed and moved? Now picture your new home is half the square footage of your current ones. How would that further help you identify items that you would get rid of? This little mind trick can help you really pick out things that you are holding on to for no good reason. After all, if you wouldn’t move the items in to a new home, why are you keeping them in your current home?

Be Real with Friends

When I’ve gone through a big decluttering process in my home, I’ve found it’s helpful to get real with my close friends. I let them know what I’m doing, and I tell them that I will have a bunch of stuff that I am going to get rid of. Then I ask them if there is anything they would like to have first dibs on before I donate. You might feel awkward talking to your friends about hand-me-downs, but I’ve found if I start the conversation this way that I find out my friends would really love a few of my items.

In the last round of decluttering, I found out that one of my friends was in the process of paying off some big medical bills and she had been feeling bummed that she hadn’t been able to buy any new clothes lately. By offering her the chance to go through my unwanted, yet still in style clothes, she was able to get a few “new” pieces to spice up her wardrobe. I had another friend who had recently gotten in to baking, but didn’t want to spend a lot on new baking pans and supplies. She was thrilled when I offered her the chance to go through my unneeded kitchen items. By knowing the person your items are going to, I’ve found it is often easier to let go of the items. An added bonus is that you can almost always borrow the items back if you find you need them from time to time.

Get Involved with a Charity

Just like it’s easier to get rid of items to people that you know, I’ve also found it’s very motivating to get rid of items when I know they are going to be put to good use by a charity. A number of years ago I became involved with a domestic violence shelter in Phoenix. I started volunteering and got to know the staff who worked in the “store” where the women and children could get clothing, furnishings, and other necessities. By seeing firsthand the impact that was made by donations to this organization, I became really excited to help. When they would send out emails asking for specific items they needed, I would go through my house and bag up as many of the items as I could to take down. By finding an organization you can become passionate about helping, specifically a homeless shelter, women’s shelter, or children’s organization, you can find outside inspiration for getting rid of the extra items in your home.

Just like with all tips for your home, pick one or two from this list to try using in your home. It does take a shift in thinking to start seeing just how many items we don’t need in our homes, but once you are able to identify a few things that you can get rid of, I can guarantee you’ll find them in every single room.

Until next time, I’m the Domestic CEO, helping you love your home.