Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Thrifter's Decluttering Guide

An organized home requires strict discipline that I lack. Like most thrifters, I have trouble passing up cheap thrifted items. By constantly editing my home and decluttering I'm able to avoid living in a house that looks like an episode of Hoarders.

 My freshly decluttered desk area. As an artist I NEED stimulation, yet I cannot function when clutter exists.

Decluttering Staples: Many Boxes (at least four), Time, and a Friend to Force you to get rid of the junk!

 1. See all the clutter littering the floor and counter tops? Get it all into boxes and out of the way.

2. Label those boxes as: Donate, Re-Sell, Art Supplies, Keep or whatever labels suit your needs. Keep a large trash bag handy for trash.

3. Start to sort through your boxes. I recommend doing this with friends and an open trash bag.  Once all items are sorted into appropriate boxes, take the sealed trash bag outside to the dumpster. Load the Donate box into your vehicle so you can take it a thrift store immediately.

 My old bedroom, a bit of organized and decluttered chaos; I like stimulating spaces with lots of character and neatly displayed collections. 

 4. Display the items you decide to keep with pride.

Deciding What to Keep When You Declutter

This is the hardest, and perhaps defining aspect of the decluttering process. Like all the best things in life your home requires careful editing. Keep only what you USE. Keep only what you LOVE. The rest is just useless clutter and it needs to go. When you thrift for more stuff, think before you buy it. It may be cheap, but will you continue to use it? Does it inspire you without cluttering your life?

Favorite Decluttering Inspiration:
  • Get Rich Slowly's The Hidden Costs of Stuff- JD  is a Stuff addict. He makes progress but admits its hard to let go and change his obsession with Stuff. Thrifters can relate!
I might make decluttering posts a regular feature here. I always need inspiration in this arena....

This blog post is linked at My Backyard Eden / Room to Inspire / Me and My Bucket / The Penny Pinching Party / Whatever Goes Wednesday / Idea Sharing Wednesday / The Boardwalk Bragfest / Trendy Treehouse and Flaunt in Friday

Please share your decluttering tips in the comments. I'd love to read them! I need all the inspiration I can get as I embark on a week-long home purging!


  1. Thanks for the kick in the butt I desperately needed. I'm borderline hoarder. Not really, but I'm lucky to have a two car garage to hold my two car size pile of stuff! Your tips are very useful - thanks!

  2. Mt personal kick in the butt that's keeping me from being a big time hoarded is the lack of space in my small apartment. In order to function, I really have to edit and declutter!

  3. ooo sure it does.
    I have joined in too
    Plz do visit

  4. I enjoyed this post, I need to get organized, I am a little addicted to bringing new treasures home from garage sales etc!
    thanks for visiting my blog! I'm going to follow your's too and come back and read these tips again

  5. I love getting organized and making changes in my decor at the same time. You've got great tips here. Pam @ Sallygoodin

  6. I needed this. I have crap that I don't even think about laying around.

    It's time to purge.

  7. You inspired me, Girl!!! And gee, do I need it!!! I just still haven't figured out how to organize all my art stuff...(Thank goodness my husband is understanding!) You are an inspiration. And your room looks beautiful!!!
    CIndy Adkins

  8. Clutter kills great thoughts for sure. I love being organzied too, makes life so much stress free, doesn't it? Grest tips:)

  9. I can't wait until I'm done with my brand decluttering scheme at this house. It's painful. So many advise not to work on the whole house at once but I didn't listen...

  10. Thanks for the reminder and all the great decluttering sites! Thanks so much for linking up to Be Inspired today!


  11. found you by Room to Inspire! I love your blog, I went back quite a way-- reading post after post and admiring your pictures! This particular post hit the nail on the head, I am so glad you wrote about decluttering as a thrifter!

  12. Great Post! I think you forgot to mention that you also linked to the Boardwalk Bragfest (haha). I hope to see you next week, as well!

  13. Oh, decluttering is such a scary word! And refreshing at the same time!
    For me it is a continuous process. With so many dear vintage collections, i too, must be careful not to end up like one of those people on 'hoarders, buried alive'. That will not happen to me. I try to go with 'one thing in, one thing out', or at least 'into the shop'. ;)

  14. Oh man, I needed to read this. My little apartment is filled to the brim with good deals and sale items. Too bad its cluttered and messy and looks like crap.

    Thank you for participating in the Creative Therapy Session at Life in the Pitts

  15. Great post and thanks for the awesome tips! Coming by from FIF!


  16. Hi Van!

    I wanted to drop you a note to let you know that your project has been featured this week from your participation in the Boardwalk Bragfest party. You can see the feature here:


    Feel free to grab a "featured" button, and I hope to see you again tomorrow at the Boardwalk Bragfest!

  17. So nice to see what you have done. I have to much stuff. Its hard to adjust to my changing needs and interests, and get rid of the old!
    You're doing great.
    Thank you for the book suggestions also.

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  19. Back to the decluttering blogs. No ,I want it all and I want a warehouse to keep it all in so I can just go look at it all. Just makes me happy and reminds me that a bunch of it was "MADE IN AMERICA" some not all, but oh well.

  20. Amazing post with some fantastic tips, I can be seen to be a bit of a thrifter, although when I need to get rid of the mess, I call it 'curating clutter!'


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