How to Get Rid of Belongings, Declutter and Downsize

Whether moving to a smaller home or reorganizing to make more room in your current home, sorting through and downsizing a lifetime’s worth of belongings is a daunting task.
Old clothing can help out the less fortunate.Old clothing can help out the less fortunate.
When items represent memories, people have a hard time differentiating between wants and needs. With a few handy hints and a little guidance, the process of organizing and downsizing can be easier and less stressful, and reducing clutter can help people breathe a little easier.

Step 1

Sort belongings with the four-box method. Mark four boxes “Give away/sell,” “Storage,” “Trash,” and “Maybe.” As you go through items, place them in the appropriate boxes. Use the “Maybe” box sparingly.

Step 2

Sell items to earn a little extra moving or fun money. Books, CDs, clothes, furniture and many other belongings can be sold online, in resale shops or at pawn shops. Selling items probably won’t earn a lot of money, but a little extra cash can help.

Step 3

Set goals. Trying to tackle an entire house can be daunting, so setting small goals, such as a room a day, can help you get through the chaos and make order.

Step 4

Consider belongings honestly. It is important to think about whether you need a belonging or merely enjoy having it. If you genuinely love owning something, it’s worth keeping, but if you merely like having it, think twice.

Step 5

Recycle old magazines and newspapers.

Step 6

Remove items of clothing that haven’t been worn in over a year. After a year, clothing may no longer fit, and styles have changed.

Step 7

Donate whatever you can. Help the less fortunate by donating to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or local charities.

About the Author

A professional writer since 2008, Charlotte Kirkwood’s articles have appeared on Pop Syndicate, Ani.me, CollectionDX and other websites. She enjoys writing about travel, films, literature, beauty, homemaking, pop culture and anime. Kirkwood's previous jobs include makeup artist and book seller. She studied English and art history at Southwest State University.