bowl with lemons on textile on table

Declutter For a Fresh Start

bowl with lemons on textile on table
Photo by Tara Winstead on

It’s amazing how things tend to accumulate. It’s one book here, a piece of mail there, a birthday present on top of that and next thing you know it can be quite a bit of stuff. Multiply that be every member of your household including pets and things can get out of hand quickly.

Some of the things you possess can be things you use or quite valuable and beautiful. But too much stuff ends up having the opposite effect. It just looks like a collection of junk and it can also contribute to stress when you are looking for something and can’t find it. So how exactly does one go about decluttering?

Recently I decided to paint my room and I had to take everything off my night stand,furniture and walls. No biggie or so it seemed until I actually got around to doing it. I found so many things I forgot I had. And then I had to decide what to get rid of and what to keep and where to put it. It turned into quite a big chore. But the end result was so worth it.

comfortable bed and white big wardrobe in elegant bedroom
Photo by Max Vakhtbovych on

This is the method I used to declutter:

Get 3 bags and you can write on the bags if you want so you don’t get confused about what is what. The categories are:

  • Trash
  • Donate
  • Keep

There are some things that are definitely trash. Empty bottles, old newspapers or magazines can be recycled so you may want to start another bag for that but that’s personal preference. The rule of thumb is if you haven’t used it in 6 months, say bye bye. When in doubt, throw it out. But I understand it can be difficult to let go of things. But trust me you will feel so much better once your room is all neat and clean. You won’t miss that junk.

Remember your trash is someone else’s treasure. Your possessions deserved to be used and appreciated. If you donate it, someone else can really need that item and will use and appreciate it. Recently I was donating some items and there was this one item that I was just tired of looking at it. It wasn’t my style and I decided to donate it. Well as I was donating it the attendant said, “Oh I like that.” I chuckled to myself because I was so sick of that item. So if you have any guilt about getting rid of stuff, remember that someone else will use it.

What to Keep?

If you are going to keep something consider if you use it, love it or it has value. If you use it great keep it. It is serving a purpose in your life. If you love it, you will know. It’s something that has sentimental value or a special gift. But just because someone gave you something doesn’t mean you have to keep it.

Sometimes people can give you the most ridiculous things. Cook books that you know you will never use. Clothing that is the wrong size or you just don’t like it. TOSS. It’s really hard to buy books for others because how do you know what someone wants to read? Personally I like to pick my own books and sometimes my taste changes in books and I’m not into something that I once was really into. Remember someone else will appreciate that book. And it will really free up space.

set of skin care products in contemporary bathroom
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

It’s Definitely a Project

Now this is no easy task because depending on how big your room is and how many dressers and night stands you have, there can be quite a bit of stuff. You can have 10, 15, 20 or 30 years worth of stuff. You will get tired of this stuff. You will want to quit. You will want to say, “Forget it, it’s not worth my time. My kids can deal with this.” But if you decide to dedicate 20 minutes per day to this project, you will get it done quicker than you know. It will have to be an everyday thing until the project is done. In my case it took a week to move all my stuff and then have it painted and then put back together. I’m not going to say it was easy but it was definitely worth it.


That’s the feeling I had after decluttering. It just felt so wonderful to get rid of stuff. My room looks so much better!! I feel so much more relaxed and have a real sense of accomplishment. I actually have kept it going into my bathroom and closet. It’s just so worth the time. I’m not done by any stretch of the imagination. I still have more closets to do but the thing is that I started and I’m not going to stop now.

Keep chasing rainbows and butterflies. Keep your chin up and consider following my blog. Here’s a link to my podcast episode about decluttering.

Valeria is a Health and wellness Coach living in California. Her hobbies include singing and playing piano. Here she in SF at Fisherman’s Wharf.