How We Got Rid of Half Of Our Stuff

We’re downsizing, in a big way. Going from a sprawling suburban apartment (okay, it’s 820 square feet) to cramped (but charming) place in the city means we’ve had to downsize. In order for our new space to not look cluttered, we need less furniture and less stuff. So we got rid of about half of it. Here’s how we did it:

How We Got Rid of Half of Our Stuff

1. The Clothes Had To Go.

I made strict guidelines and went through my closet at warp speed. Split second decisions only. I had to go with my gut. Here are the questions I asked myself:

  • Have I worn it in the last 6 months? This doesn’t apply to seasonal items but if the whole summer went by and I never wore that sundress, it’s out. I’ve heard that others use this rule and it seemed solid.
  • Does it actually fit? Or am I just hoping that someday it will? I’m looking at you, size 1 jeans. If I can’t wear it TODAY, to Goodwill it goes!
  • Does it have a hole in it? Somehow this was the hardest. It’s embarrassing how many items I have that I adored but have tiny holes in them (thanks to Archie carrying them around in his mouth).
  • Am I just keeping this because it’s a brand name? I had many items that I never wore and didn’t really love but justified keeping around because “but it’s Banana Republic” or “but it’s J.Crew”. It doesn’t matter what it is. If you don’t wear it, it goes. How I Got Rid of Half of My Clothes! #cleaning #clothes #downsizing #downsize

Items that were in style and in good shape, I sold at a consignment store. Everything else went to Goodwill.

2. We Booted Half the Furniture.

My boyfriend (N) and I sat in our living room one day and made a list of all the furniture that is not coming with us. We’ve accumulated a lot of furniture over the years, as I love Goodwill and frequently find items that I love but have no use for (and then buy anyways). These are the questions we asked ourselves about every piece of furniture in our home:

  • Is it structurally sound? Our Ikea bookshelf is wobbly like whoa. It isn’t joining us in Philly.
  • Do we use it regularly? The desk, vanity, antique table, and dining room table all don’t get much use.
  • Do we have room? We need and like two dressers but two dressers will not fit in our new apartment. The newer dresser is coming with us, N’s dresser is going back to Goodwill where it came from. Plus we’ve gotten rid of half of our clothes so hopefully we can make this work.
  • Is it just plain ugly? Our coffee table is so far past needing to be refinished, it isn’t even worth it. Speaking of ugly, I don’t care how ugly our recliner is, it’s coming with us.

All furniture that isn’t coming is going on Craigslist, to Goodwill, or in the trash.

3. If we haven’t seen it in a year, we don’t need it and won’t miss it.

The desk drawer was full of stuff but and had not been opened in a year. The extra products (that I never use) under the bathroom sink were out of control. The extra linens (i.e. old sheets and dog towels) we had were exploding out of our hall closet. I couldn’t possibly tell you what was in my nightstand, but it was completely full. And there was an entire closet that was just “miscellaneous”.

We had to be ruthless. What I kept in mind was this – If N threw it away when I was out of the house, would I even notice? In most cases, the answer was no. There is just no reason to move a hand cream that you hate the scent of, the duvet cover you’ll never put back on your bed, or your scientific calculator from 10th grade. You don’t even remember what sine or cosine are. Make peace with that.

4. No extras allowed.

Does anyone else have an absurd amount of tupperware? We’ve got way too much tupperware, thanks to restaurants now using it as to-go boxes. It’s not coming with us.

No duplicates of anything. No keeping extras of things just because. 

5. Outdated technology is not invited.

N announced recently that our DVD player isn’t coming with us. What?! He claims we never watch DVD’s which is true except that every time he’s gone for the weekend, I watch at least two Harry Potter movies. All on DVD. So sure, we don’t use the DVD player but I do. He still insists that he doesn’t think we need it or my DVD collection. I’ve agreed to this deal IF he buys me all the Harry Potter movies on Google Play or iTunes.

Harry Potter DVDs

And if you’re a fellow Harry Potter lover, make sure you check out this post.

6. Cut the cosmetics.

Since we are ditching both my vanity and a small antique table that previously housed my hair and makeup products, I now had to figure out where they were going to go. Turns out, I’m a hoarder of almost finished lipsticks and old tubes of mascara. I asked myself these questions and got rid of over half of my cosmetics and nearly all of my hair products:

  • Is it super super old? If I couldn’t remember when I bought it or when I used it last, I tossed it.
  • Did it just never work for me? There’s just no reason to keep a $5 lipstick that I hated from the moment I put it on for the first time. If that hairspray just never held your curls, ditch it. If the foundation was always kind of the wrong color, throw it out.
  • Is it almost empty? I’m totally that girl who kept a lipstick because there was maybe a wear or two left. But come on, we all know that by then I’ve already bought another lipstick to replace it. If it’s empty or even close to empty, throw it away.

7. Love it or leave it.

We found that as we really looked at our apartment piece by piece, there were a lot of things that we actually didn’t like. There were lots of mentions of things like “why do we even have this?” or “is this yours?” (said in a judgy tone). Turns out, our home decor style was really just a hodge podge of what we found in my parent’s basement and at Goodwill. We’re upping our game for our new place.

So that’s how we got rid of nearly half of our stuff. It feels good to get rid of the clutter. Do you have any other suggestions to help us downsize before our move? I’d love to hear how you got rid of the clutter in your life!

  • Wow I love this!Now im motivated to go home and purge. You sound just like me with the dog towels and the excess of beauty products lol!

    • Any towel with a hole in it or a stain on it is a dog towel. The funny thing is, we never even give him baths at home! We take him to a dog washing place (you wash your own dog for $10 but it’s got the big silver wash tub and shampoo and everything). I don’t know why we even keep them! It’s always a “what if we need them though?”

  • I follow the same guidelines you’ve written about here. I mostly stick with the idea that if I even have to think about when the last time was that I used or wore something, then it should go. We’re pretty good about getting rid of stuff because we both hate clutter, but recently we decided to see if we could get rid of 100 things just to declutter. It helped us think about what we need vs what we think we need or want. I go through monthly phases of just getting rid of stuff and my most recent plan is to go through my closet again now that fall is here and I know which things haven’t been worn from the last season. New seasons are a great time to do a deep cleaning and declutter the house.

    • I love that you put a number on it. 100 things. I actually know I got rid of more than 100 items of clothing. I think it’s easy to keep stuff you don’t need when you have the space but it’s actually cleansing to be downsizing.

  • Yes, I love this! If I lived alone, I’d live in a minimalist paradise but unfortunately I live with a bit of a hoarder so we have to compromise 🙂 I have been doing the closet de-cluttering though, with the dream of one day having a capsule wardrobe (have you seen unfancy blog?). I did the first round a couple of months ago and got rid of so.much.stuff and now I’m ready for round 2 which I think will be much easier.

    • …I’m totally the hoarder in my relationship. He says I have a lot of “trinkets” i.e. random small crap. I love it though. I pretend it makes our apartment look funky and eclectic, not messy.

    • Kimberlyn

      Totally the same for me! I told him last night that he has hoarding tendencies and it went from there! I’d definitely love to lead a very minimalistic lifestyle, hence finding posts such as this!

  • Jae

    Whoa, this post certainly hit me. I’m in the process of getting rid most of my stuff, too, since I’m immigrating to the US (to be with my husband) very soon. I’ve long since realized that I can’t take everything with me, hence most things (especially clothes) have to go. Thanks for sharing these tips, Nadine!


    • Long distance moves are honestly the best way to get rid of a ton of stuff. I moved from California to the east coast with only what I could fit in the trunk of my Honda Accord. Almost nothing! I hope your move goes well!

  • I love this list! I can relate because a year ago we moved our family from a 3 bedroom house to a camper. We did a lot of “down sizing.” I like the “Am I just keeping this because it’s a brand name?” I am totally guilty of this! Overall a great list!

    <3 Liz L.

    • That sounds like some major downsizing! Wow! Very impressive.

  • Wow! This is SO helpful, I feel like these are all things i “know” but I don’t let my brain think about them. Thanks for the help. I’ve been trying to simplify our home for over a year now, but I just get so caught up in sentimental things and memories and “what if I’ll need this in five years!” or “this would make a great 80’s costume!” or “the daughter I may have some day may find this fun!”

    I think having a tangible goal like moving really helps too, but I need to apply these rules at my home asap!

    • I’ve never been able to clean like this until we absolutely had too. I wouldn’t have done it otherwise. It’s too easy to just shove things in a drawer, you know?

  • These are great tips! I just purged my closet and used a lot of those same thoughts. Although I didn’t do a good enough job. I put on a shirt this morning that I haven’t worn since the winter and it looked more like a tent. To Goodwill it will go.

    • Goodwill is getting 5 full trash bags of my clothes. At least it’s going to a good cause!

  • Well done! It’s hard to do but it feels so good once you’ve done it! We donated a bunch of stuff when we moved our stuff out of our house is Nashville and into my husband’s grandfather’s garage, and I need to reread this post for inspiration before we unpack everything in our new house. Decluttering is just so satisfying and I find that I rarely miss the stuff that I donate. Good luck with your move!

    • It really is super satisfying. I’m amazed how many surfaces in our house are just clean now. No piles of junk!

  • I love throwing things out and downsizing. I do it a couple of times a year. Better than therapy!

  • You are such an inspiration to me this morning! I’ve been slowly decluttering our house room by room and drawer by drawer for the past 6 months or so. The last room I have is my closet. And I haven’t been able to bring myself to do it. I keep going between whether I should just get rid of the obviously items, or really be honest with myself and toss anything that hasn’t been worn or used in the past year. I’m leaning towards the latter, which is terrifying for me lol. But you’ve inspired me to just take the leap and do it! Hey – it’s just “stuff” anyway, right?

    • I honestly already cannot remember what I got rid of. I pretty much only wore the stuff that was in the front 1/3 of my closet. It was ridiculous. Just ask yourself those questions and be ruthless. You’ll be so happy to have a closet full of only stuff that you actually wear!

  • Good tips! I’m working on decluttering our stuff and it is hard.

  • this is awesome! michael doesn’t care about things at all and he constantly makes me purge stuff. it’s actually a great habit and makes life easier!

    • I’m the same. I’m the one with all the clutter and random junk in our relationship. N is really a minimalist.

  • Love this!! I’ve been selling clothes on eBay (and sending stuff to ThredUP this weekend) and it is THE best feeling to get rid of things…and make a few $$!

    • I took 5 bags to Goodwill and took one bag to a consignment store. You don’t make a ton off of it but it’s nice to have a little extra cash.

  • I used to think I was ruthless in getting rid of crap, but lately I’ve noticed I’m holding on to things I used to get rid of – because we have a house now, so ‘more room’ but I dont want clutter. I have so much crap, drawers and cupboards full of things i won’t look at for a whole year. so silly. I think this weekend I might go crazy and get rid of stuff. my husband is the hoarder of the family (we have 2 of his calculators from school – TWO. he claims he needs them because he is a teacher, lies lies lies) so i need to do it when he’s not there.
    also that dvd player is crazy small. i say take it.

    • I haven’t used my scientific calculator since sophomore year of college, 6 freaking years ago. I don’t even know why I moved that thing from California. I think the bad part of owning a house (especially one with a basement, oh my gosh) is that it’s so easy to accumulate. My parents basement is basically like a goodwill. I go shopping down there sometimes lol.

  • Love this! I’ll be moving out next year when I transfer but I’m seriously already downsizing. I’ve been picking out clothes as often as I can (when I buy something new, I take something old out) and I’ve been tossing all clutter that’s literally just trash that my hoarding/sentimental ocd “had” to keep, plus getting rid of books I never really liked or movies, etc; everything needs to go.

    • I’m a huge book hoarder but I refuse to get rid of them. I did go thru and chose books that I thought I absolutely would never re-read or thought were semi-embarrassing (i.e. anything by Dr. Phil). But aside from that, I refuse to get rid of them.

  • We do this with each of our moves. We eliminate a lot of stuff. I can’t wait to see the new apartment photos.

    • I’ve never done a house tour or anything on my blog so perhaps I’ll have to do one once we move.

  • haha the whole oh I left in a drawer for a year and didn’t even miss it debacle is exactly what I go through every single time I move! well done on clearing things out 🙂 and congrats on the move!


    • I honestly kind of want N to just throw everything in drawers away while I’m out of the house. I’ll never know it’s gone but if I look at it, I won’t be able to throw it out.

  • All of these are great tips. I need to get real with myself. Though we aren’t moving, my uncle once said you should clean like you’re moving every 5 years. We’ve been in this house for five years and we’re already out of places in 1100 square feet. We don’t need a bigger house. I need less stuff. Great inspiration in this post to DO IT! Hope the move goes well!

    • Oh you can definitely fit a ton of stuff into 1100 square feet. Is it weird that I think that’s a LOT of space? We’re so used to our 820, I don’t even know what we’d do with more! Try being super ruthless with throwing stuff out and see how it goes.

  • I’m saving this. When I moved last year and I was packing I wanted to get rid of so much stuff but for some reason threw it all into boxes which are living in my basement. Our family has decided that now my sisters wedding is over, cleaning out the basement is the next big project. We need to get rid of stuff! Besides, one of these days I’ll actually be able to get an apartment again and I’ll have to downsize anyways because I too will be loving in the city. Hopefully.

  • Can you come help me pack? #miserable

  • This is so helpful! How did you deal with the stuff you are emotionally attached to but don’t need? Like my grandmother’s knitting bag… it’s cool, but I don’t really NEED it.


  • I am not sure I could ever stand for leaving Harry Potter behind even if it wasn’t watched very often. HP is just one of those things that will have to wherever I go haha:)

  • We moved 6 months ago to a house double the size we were in but we decided to de-hoard and got rid of about half of stuff because we didn’t want to move all the junk! Also, tell N he can chuck the DVD player but keep the DVD’s you have a computer with a DVDplayer right 😉

    Can’t wait to see it once you’ve moved in!

  • dee

    we did this 5 years ago when we moved from the burbs to the city. Looking back it was the best thing for us and it set us on a path of vein more conservative in what we buy now. Instead of buying because its on sale or to “stock up” we buy cause we need it or want the higher priced blouse or sweater and can justify it because its one item. if a pair of shoes come in, a pair goes out, etc

  • These are great tips for just plain old cleaning and organizing, even if you aren’t moving into a smaller space. I feel a cleaning binge coming on…

  • I love this post! I’m not moving anytime soon but super helpful for just getting rid of stuff!!

  • I love how clear this list is! I’ve been having a hard time with getting rid of things, but I feel like if I applied your clear yes/no questions, I can be on my way to a simpler life, pronto!

    Thank you for sharing!

    The Mama Gazette

  • Oh my gawd can I relate to this. When my boyfriend moved in with me after 3 years of long distance we realized how much (excuse my language) crap we had and we did a lot of the same things. As hard as it is (for such superficial reasons) to sometimes part with clothes & makeup – I always feel 1000x times better with the items I have left at the end of the purge/clean out. Not too mention it always makes me reevaluate how wasteful I can be and monitor my spending habits more carefully. Now if I can only get the boyfriend to let me go through his stuff & toss the unnecessary items out. HA!

    • Betsy

      I can relate! My bf said not to touch his “stuff”, he would do it. The fact is, he won’t!

      • Amanda

        my dad has said to my mom for 30 need to do it or it will travel with you

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  • I am WAY late commenting on this, but I just wanted to say GOOD FOR YOU in getting rid of so much stuff! It’s always my goal to minimize my possessions but I have such a hard time getting rid of things that I’m just SURE I’ll use later. I’m going to have to use some of your tips and be more realistic/strict with myself!

  • Love this inspirational post! I moved out of Singapore recently and had to do just that involuntarily, but at the end it felt so good <3

  • I’ve been trying to come to terms with the fact that my closet is overflowing and is need of some serious purging TLC. This was so helpful. Thank you!

  • So I am sitting at work, you know, trying to work then stumbled here. Well really on another one of your posts, and another one, then wound up here 1 hour later. Whoops!

    I have moved 4 times in 4 years (3 different states) and I can tell you that downsizing is the best thing ever. Now, we currently only keep the items that we need – besides a few drawers that are just stuffed with crap!

  • marybeth

    My biggest problem is I hate yard sales/consignment stuff. I want to get rid of stuff but I feel extra guilty not making money off the stuff. Suggestions?

    • Susan

      My community has several yard sale pages on Facebook. My daughter sells her excess stuff there.

    • Ashley

      Why do you feel guilty? Donate it to a worthwhile organization and the money that it brings in will help a cause you believe in and want to support. I don’t like yard sales either, too much time and work for too little payoff. I just donate.

  • HF

    We’ll be down-sizing too – thanks for the suggestions! One note – ever since I found out that Goodwill is NOT a non-profit I make sure all my donations go to a shop that directly benefits Child & Family Services and the Protected Woman’s Shelter. Just food for thought for others to find a better way.

    • Interesting. I did not know that although I do know that Goodwill is usually run by state or region and that in some states it’s better than others.

      • EZ

        Goodwill IS non-profit. I’ve served on the Board.

      • Belinda

        I prefer Salvation Army (they will even come pick it up!), or our local animal shelter thrift store (all profits go to providing for the animals). We also give a lot to local churches or community chests. A lot of them have programs where they open up the doors once or twice a month and let people take what they need for free. Even Goodwill prices are too much for some people, like the homeless.

        • Mercedes Marton

          They are not better either. Same boat, different pirates

          • Greta

            Actually, the Salvation Army is MUCH better than Goodwill. And they make sure that the needy benefit. They always have. Their CEO makes a pittance compared to Goodwill

      • NotThatGirl

        Goodwill frequently pays the legally disabled less than 50 cents an hour. Yes, this is legal – why I specify “legally disabled.” Most programs that aim to put the disabled aka “those with employment barriers” to/back to work have policies against letting clients work for less than minimum wage.

        • madewar

          Be careful about what you repeat without checking all the facts. It is possible that during a period of training and attempting to help someone get into the work force, they are paid a stipend of some kind so their SSI and Medicaid are not lost. That would be a “Good” reason for paying a small amount and would be a benefit to the disabled person, not taking advantage of them.

          • NotThatGirl

            Ma’am: You don’t know where my information comes from so you automatically assume I didn’t check “all the facts.” Programs exist to help people truly enter (or re-enter) the workforce without the loss of their benefits – which also may be SSD, Medicare, food assistance, housing assistance, etc. Not all disabled have never worked. Please, don’t treat *us* like dumb little animals who couldn’t possibly know a thing. It makes you look like a bigot and for all I know, you’re simply ignorant.

          • Mercedes Marton

            I used to work for a company called Peckham. It was the most wonderful place to work at. They also employ people with disabilities. It was specially made for people with barriers and disabilities. They made 5 mil profit and because they are non profit they invested back into their workers. They pay a big chunk of the INS fees to the refugees (including mine 600$), They reinvest in their workers. Those on SSI got same amount of wages as the others, but because of the SSI rules they could not make over X amount of $ they worked either 2 or 3 times a day or they work half days. So paying chump change for 8 hours of work is one step from slavery. Even if the money on the end of the month was the same between the two companies.

          • Elizabeth Staeheli

            Yeah. Let the corporation save $$ while the taxpayers continue to pay for everything! SSI and Medicaid deserve to be repaid if someone is using the disabled to make money!

      • Elizabeth Staeheli

        Goodwill is NOT run by state. Where did you ever get such an idea? It is privately owned and run.

    • madewar

      That Goodwill is not a nonprofit is an urban myth and it is important to check before passing this on. Goodwill does a great deal of good in the community for many people and its a shame that this rumor started. I fell for it when I first heard it also, but was relieved when I found out it wasn’t true.

      • Mpls_Me

        Goodwill may actually be a nonprofit, but is NOT a good place to donate goods if you actually want to do something good for anyone other than their rich CEO. People are much better off donating to a local charity, the disabled veterans center, a homeless shelter or women’s shelter.

        • Mercedes Marton

          See my post on top. I totally with you on this

      • Mercedes Marton

        There is a difference between Non-profit and Non-profit. I agree with HF. Goodwill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing

    • Mpls_Me

      Goodwill is a nonprofit; however (and this is a big HOWEVER), it is a huge corporation with a CEO that earns six figures. So, it is NOT the best place to donate goods if you really want them to go to the needy. Here is a story that NBC News did on how Goodwill can legally pay its workers as little as 22 cents an hour:

    • Mpls_Me

      Here is another article from Forbes magazine talking about how Goodwill gets around paying a decent wage to their employees:

  • Just ran across this post, Nadine, and love it! We aren’t downsizing or moving, but will be adding a new baby to our already small(er) home next month. I’m not a pack rat but do have a hard time parting with certain things–mainly clothes. Your post totally inspired me to purge our closets and get rid of all the unnecessary extras. I’m going to take your advice and make split-second decisions. My indecisive nature will be eternally grateful if this works!

    • That’s a great idea! The questions I listed about clothes were what I really asked myself about each item. If your spouse could remove it from your closet and you’re pretty sure you wouldn’t notice, get rid of it. I can tell you this: I have not regretted getting rid of anything. I took tons of garbage bags of clothes to Goodwill and I can’t even remember what was in them!

  • Thanks for writing this post! My husband and I are currently working towards moving ourselves and our baby boy into a tiny house in the next couple years. Like someone else had said, I feel like these are all things I “know”, but to have someone write it all out helped to put things in perspective. I’m looking forward to downsizing and simplifying our lives so we can put more focus on what really matters in life.

  • Robert buffington

    For the movies I’m switching all mine over to Vudu, taking them to Walmart and paying $2 each video and utilizing there disc to digital program,

  • Jacqueline Hansen

    My rule for keeping things manageable is, if I bring something new in, something has to go out.
    That way your not apt to start a new collection of stuff. This is not as easy as it sounds at my age, as I lost my dad and inherited his stuff and his mother’s stuff, my husband’s family stuff and I see my mother’s stuff when she goes into assisted living, coming this way too. Have to be really strong and not sentimental. Downsizing our things now so our children won’t have to. Cannot get my mother to get rid of anything. So have to wait and do all of it later. Keep it simple is the way Togo.

    • Andrea

      I heard, taking photos of the not-so-sentimental stuff. This way you have the memory. Of course add a little written memory for future generations.

    • Mercedes Marton

      If I get a pet can I throw out my boyfriend?

      • Elizabeth Staeheli

        I need to find a new home for my 30 year old son!

  • EZ

    Goodwill IS non-profit. I’ve been on the Board of Directors. We love the donations we get as all the profits go directly to persons with barriers to employment.

    • Sue

      Goodwill is a joke.That CEO makes millions off of others donations.

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  • Donna

    We are moving from a large house in NY to a 2 bedroom condo in FL soon and will be making a preliminary trip to line up some remodeling, I have measured all the furniture that I would like to take with us to make sure it will fit where I want to use it -otherwise it only gets a trip to goodwill.

  • Paula

    I would like to know how you did with keeping your movies online? I have learned sadly that these things don’t get to stay and that with technology and other companies, they don’t last. When one company comes in and takes over, you lose things. When you don’t log in for a while, you lose things. Even old pictures that you had to share with others. Sadly things from the future aren’t always as dependable as things from the past. Look at phone lines, during a storm, those with land lines, the old-fashioned ones have telephones, others are all out. Pictures that you put on sites, get taken off. Memories and family logs get deleted. Nothing to pass down, old photo albums and family history of stories inside, will remain as long as the pages can remain.

    • Kimerlee Rice

      I agree with that. I used a cloud storage that was free for a few years, then they decided to start charging and gave only a certain amount of time to download your stuff. Well at the time, I couldn’t afford the new fee and I didn’t have internet. Only my phone. So, I downloaded only a small amount on my phone and lost the rest. Lost all my baby pics of my daughter and other important stuff… I don’t trust cloud anymore.

    • Michelle Hernandez

      I agree- lose your icloud password and don’t have your idevice’s registration number? Sorry outta luck. Keep those dvds, cds, printed photos. You are only renting space in “the cloud”.

    • Andrea

      We had a storm and both the landline and cellphones were down. No internet, etc.

      The cloud is nice so you can bring things around and access anywhere. But I’m not a big fan. There are ways to store photos, etc., in addition in a compact way (look into scrapbooking photo boxes–they hold tons, for example one online, $5.00-$10.00 US Holds up to 1100 4×6 inch photos).

    • Mercedes Marton

      Also you can put all your movies on a portable hard drive. They have HUGE terabyte ones too. I have a 3 terabyte one. You can hook them to most smart tvs or blu ray players

    • Elizabeth Staeheli

      You can buy an apparatus to save everything on. They don’t cost that much. Ask someone who is computer savvy.

  • If something is broken and it can’t be fixed throw it out.

  • Cheryl

    on the subject of Dog towels… Our local SPCA is always asking for linens. If you’re anything like me part of the reason I keep things is because I hate to waste. This gives me a good feeling if I’m getting rid of the clutter but someone is getting some use out of it.

  • Debbie

    Every time I move I downsize, many boxes taken to the good will, and every season I clean out every drawer, file cabinet, desk drawer, cloths closet from a life time accumulation of both my spouse and myself. Now with the online rummage sites I sell everything instead. I would rather have a full wallet then a full house. When one of the younger kids or nieces move into town I have enough to furnish their apartments too!

  • Christine

    Sighhh if only it were that easy here. We’re leaving with my inlaws abd his mom is such a hoarder of all kinds of things! We’ve cleaned out every section of this house multiple times abd thrown away a LOT of stuff, but she just goes through the trash to save things for a garage sale she’s been saying she’ll do for about 6 months now. Now there is an actual tent she made in the back with just Crap nobody ever uses.

    • caMORON’s enemy

      If I were you I’d set up the garage sale and then she has to agree to sell and whatever doesn’t get sold is thrown away!

      • madewar

        Its her house and she has the right to hoard if she wants. This is a delicate situation. I[m just concerned that someone is pressured to do something they dont want.

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  • I am having to do the exact same thing with my new place. It has definitely been an adventure and you have a lot of great ideas! I might have to do another round of “is this really necessary?” and see if I can make the smaller space even more liveable. Thank you!!

  • I would love to have less stuff in this house! Want to come do mine?

    In all honesty, it is a matter of trying to get everyone else on board with the idea here. Sounds like you guys did an awesome job!

  • whit

    I love most of these but being a beauty product junkie (and having super sensitive skin) I find i often buy products that are good products but just don’t work for me.
    I put them in a big box and let my cousins pick thru them before I toss them. Of course,not mascara or anything that could be a hygiene risk, but that lotion that broke me out/ the nail polish I just didn’t like/or the foundation that left my skin too oily/etc, absolutely.

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  • Jessica

    I’m getting ready to do this at our house! We have tons of stuff in storage, that we haven’t seen or used in almost 10 months! I just shrunk my shoe collection to what hangs on the back of the door in one of those shoe organizers. The clothes are next, followed by the kitchen. I like you idea of if he throws it out will I notice. I say I will, but the truth is, probably not!

  • Melissa

    This is going to help so much! We are moving in less than a year to a different state and I don’t even know how we accumulated so much stuff! There is a desk, chair, bed, and couch we don’t even use, our dogs use it and it’s a waste of space. We have a ton of extra linens my mom gave me 4 years ago ‘just in case’ ha! I will be sure to get rid of those! THanks for breaking it down, this will help out tremendously!

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  • Meg Arrington

    Neat desktop electronic organizer for all that paperwork!!!!

  • The extra linens (i.e. old sheets and dog towels) we had were exploding
    out of our hall closet. I couldn’t possibly tell you what was in my
    nightstand, but it was completely full. And there was an entire closet
    that was just “miscellaneous”. I just seriously identified with these statements! I’m “skinnying” down my hoard too. Thanks for the this, as it is much needed 🙂

  • Stacey P

    I have more pictires thsb anyone I know. So until I get them into thr scrapbook, I scsnned them all snd put pn several drives so i can change up my electronic picture frames. Nest purchases I ever made because now i can see all my pictures on the slideshows all yhe time!

    • Tabi H.

      I am in the process of decluttering for a long distance move and I had about 12 large boxes of 4×6 photos, scrapbooks, photo albums and scrapbook materials. I donated all of of scrapbook materials and I am using to convert all of my old prints to digital so that I don’t have to lug around boxes of prints that I rarely look at.

  • Fernanda Ceneviva

    I wish I could take all of yours linens because this shit in Brazil is insanely expensive. I’d have to pay 12% of my salary just for ONE sheet and 2 pillowcases. Seriously…

    • Cacau

      Not true… Jogo de lençol e fronha de casal custa 29,90….

  • Nikki Gilday

    Remember that local animal shelters are always willing to accept those old sheets, towels, etc… and they will be greatly appreciated there, too

    • Grams

      That’s a great idea, I never thought of that!
      Thank you!!

      • Cheryl

        They like bed pillows also.

  • Ohh man…this just made me laugh out loud. We’re mid-move (a 3 phase, 6 week process that is alllmost over), and even though I got rid of stuff, since I haven’t missed most of it in the last month I’m feeling inspired to downsize even more. And since we might have a box with not one, but TWO scientific calculators, there’s definitely some more that can go…

  • Diane B

    I recently moved to another country and had to go through 20+ years of my life’s belongings…talk about a purge! You are right on target with the way you went about things. I LOVED getting rid of stuff!!
    My belongings have been in storage for over a YEAR(!) and I’ve been able to live without most of it. (We are currently living with my husband’s things.) I will be able to retrieve my goods very soon (finally) and am looking forward to another purge since our current place doesn’t have much storage. I think it will be just as easy as the first time. Good luck settling in. 🙂

  • Melissa

    My piece of advice for maintaining your clothing purge – get rid of the excess hangers too!! You won’t accumulate more clothing that you don’t need/won’t wear if you have no way to hang them up.

    • Shannon Marie Salter

      This will probably only work if you are already the kind of person who is organized enough to hang up your clothes!

  • Betsy

    I am inspired by all the purging! I have started to clean out a closet in my computer room and I am finding stuff that has been in my mother’s and grandmother’s family for ages. I know I will never use an old butter mold or an iron that you heat up on the woodstove so I’m going to try consigning these kinds of things. What is useless to me and anyone else goes to the landfill. Good clothes and other things that are in working order (an old telephone/answering machine combo, etc.) goes to the National Kidney Foundation. They pick up at my house about once a month.

  • I know this is an older post, but I’m in the midst of moving and remembered this on your “popular” page from blog stalking forever ago. This is saving my life right now. THANK YOU!

  • Michelle Woodward

    great article but harry potter on DVD??? guurrrl you need to get yo’self that blu ray special edition!

  • Such great tips, I’ll be sure to bookmark this and get back to it when moving time comes around! And speaking of getting rid of stuff, I shared some secrets on how to clean out your closet asking just ONE question on my blog, you’re welcome to check it out! Much love from xx

  • Such great tips, I’ll be sure to bookmark this and get back to it when
    moving time comes around!
    And speaking of getting rid of stuff, I shared
    some secrets on how
    to clean out your closet asking just ONE question
    on my blog,
    you’re welcome to check it out!

    Much love from

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  • ecobox

    Thanks for these tips. Very helpful.

  • Wow!! Great job!! Pat yourselves on the back!

  • Olivia

    Great article! Just a tip on DVDs… You can go to and convert your DVDs to the digital copies for like a buck each–that way you can keep your collection without the physical “baggage” at minimal cost. My sister got really clever–converted her entire collection and then SOLD the DVD’s on Ebay not only covering the cost of the conversion but also making a profit on the sell!

    • Andrea

      Well, if you don’t have the physical copy you can’t prove you owned it originally and could get in trouble. There are also programs you can buy to do this with (keeping your DVD of course). Some will convert any DVD to different formats to work with different types of devices (android, apple, etc) so you use one DVD and can watch it on different devices.

    • Jennifer Estep

      we have put most of our DVDs in a big CD binder! that has saved a lot of space!!

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  • I’m in the process of getting rid of about 75% of my stuff (downsizing to a house half the size but this place already had too much) and I love reading about other people doing the same. My spouse is the hoarder in out family (besides the kids) so we came up with a few comprimises – taking all the DS games out of their cases and tossing those, ditching most of our books in favour of using the library, and getting rid of everything we don’t love.

    I also suffered from a hodge-podge of free and cheap decor style… Looking foward to fixing up our tiny house to be more “us”.

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  • Sue Madsen

    Packing for a move and finding that we don’t miss the “stuff” in those boxes and don’t even remember what some of it is. In the meantime managing very well on what we haven’t packed. Do we need that stuff???

  • Bea Reed

    Another great place to donate to is your local Hospice store. I didn’t know they had stores until my mom was in Hospice. Those stores help to pay bills that Hospice patients and/or family don’t or won’t have to pay. For us, Hospice was a God send.

  • disqus_14kNHa98Ee

    or take all old purses fill them with toiletries or ladies products they are much appreciated by homeless women or cast off back packs with helpful items for men or women on the street or womens shelters..

  • This year I decluttered consistently but not with the laser focus that a move provides. I almost wish we WERE moving so that we could get some fire under us with the basement. It’s coming along, but not as quickly as I’d like! I know that something that has helped me is to be in the mindset of the present and to declutter from a place of “now” – is it being used “now”.

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  • Mercedes Marton

    Goodwill……… Shm. They are anything but goodwill.
    1. They pay almost nothing (22 cents/hour)
    and they got so pricy some stuff I could get brand new in a store for the same price.
    ( Don’t forget they get all the stuff for FREE).
    2. All the good stuff, used or not is online priced same as the others. So no reason to visit actual stores anymore.
    3.Michael Miller, CEO of Goodwill, earns $856,043.

    If you donate, donate to a locally based charity. Give it to a homeless shelter. Give it to a safe house.
    We don’t need to make those on top richter.

  • Mercedes Marton

    Also you can give it away on

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