Three years ago we downsized our house from 3,400 square feet to 1,300 finished square feet. Doing this forced us to clear out over half of our belongings and get intentional about what we wanted to keep in our lives. If you are ready to get rid of half your stuff and take your life back, I’m here to help you out! Keep in mind, we downsized with kids! That means half the toys, half the clothes…everything. I promise it’s possible as long as you know where to start.
*This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a commission on my recommendations at no cost to you.
Do a life plan brain dump
You might feel like you’re ready to get rid of half your stuff, but one of the best ways to really get clear on what you want to keep is by having a life plan laid out.
Doing a life plan brain dump is one of the best ways to get clear about the path you want for your life. In fact, I believe in this method so much, I created an entire spending plan, The Bucket List Budget, based on this concept.
How do you do a life plan brain dump?
Doing a brain dump is super simple. Just grab a pen and piece of paper and set a timer for 2 minutes. During these 2 minutes just write down every single thought you have about what you want for your life.
Once your 2 minutes are up, take a look at your list. Chances are you will start to see some themes emerging.
If you wrote down 7 countries you want to travel to, you can assume that travel is important.
Do your family member’s names or time together seem to be a recurring thing? Then family is one of your top life plan goals.
Continue to look for similarities in your list and your top 3 life priorities will start to emerge.
Does your stuff add to your life plan?
Now, as you start going through your things, keep your life plan in mind. If you come across a particular item that doesn’t serve you or your life plan, then set it aside to donate, sell, or throw away.
For example, if you’re hoping to run a marathon, maybe your collection of high heels no longer seems necessary. How to Declutter Your House One Room at a Time
Get rid of all the easy stuff first
Alright, let’s start with the easy stuff, shall we?
More than likely you have certain things in your home that you are just dying to get rid of. Start there! This can start the ball rolling, raise your vibration, and keep you motivated to keep on going!
Clearing away the easy stuff first will help you to feel like you’ve made a big dent. Plus, you’ll be one step closer to getting rid of half your stuff!
Ditch useless doubles
After you’ve cleared through the easy things, plan on getting rid of things you have more than one of.
- Hot pads
- Mixing bowls
- Pots and pans
For some reason, all the doubles seem to be hiding out in the kitchen. But that doesn’t always have to be the case.
If you are hoping to live with less, then be honest about all the excess that you already have.
Minimize your paperwork
Paper clutter can be one of the most overwhelming things to get rid of because somehow it just keeps accumulating! 5 Step Method to Deal with Paper Clutter
My best solution for this is to clear the clutter before it takes hold!
The good news here is that so much stuff is digital these days! Taxes, medical records, even our insurance agency sent us our proof-of-insurance via email (or the app)!
Take some time to go through your mounds of paperwork (if you’re anything like our family, you probably have a lot). Downsize your paperwork to the items that are important and that you’ll still need. Things like passports, birth certificates, and social security cards. Then, get these things somewhere safe! Literally. We bought a small, fire-proof safe that we now keep all of our important papers in.
Use the 1-year rule
Have you used this item in the last year? If not, it’s time to get rid of it.
This is usually the time when people start to justify themselves hanging onto a certain thing. In reality, if you haven’t used it in the last year, you probably won’t be using it again.
Do rapid-fire decluttering
Have you ever played that game where someone asks a question and you don’t think, you just answer? Well, you can do this with your stuff too! It’s like the 5-second rule for decluttering. Just start tossing items into a “keep” or “discard” bin and don’t give your brain time to think about it.
This is a genius way of getting rid of half your stuff fast!
Try the KonMari approach
Some people might think it’s a little “hokey,” but I swear by the KonMari method where to hold your items to see if they spark joy or not worked insanely well for me. When Tom and I did this when we got rid of half the clothes in our closet (or at least it seemed like it)!
This method might work so well for me because of my Enneagram type. I’m a type 4 which means I basically bask in my emotions. I’m a very emotionally charaged person so really tuning into what brings me joy and what doesn’t is a method that definitely works.
See what you can sell
Now, you know what makes getting rid of half your stuff a lot easier? When you can make some cold hard cash from it!
Here are some great ideas on places where you can start to sell your various items.
Media and Books
- Half Priced Books – You can usually sell books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, records and even games to your local Half Priced Books
- Textbooks.com – Great place for selling used textbooks.
- Decluttr – You can get a price quote for all of your DVDs, CDs
andbooks, send them into Decluttr and wait for a check in the mail!
- Mercari – The Mercari app has quickly become my favorite selling platform for things like old electronics and digital stuff.
Set limits for selling
One thing I do all the time is plan on selling things and then let the items sit around my house because I never actually sell them.
Avoid this mistake by making a “timestamp” on your items. Set a sell-by date and stick to it! This is a great way to avoid clutter sitting in your house for longer than you want it to.
Get rid of bulky extras
Sometimes keeping bulky furniture items can make our space look more cluttered than it actually is.
If you have furniture or decor that isn’t serving a purpose, try selling them on Facebook Marketplace and/or donating them to Goodwill if they don’t sell.
Even if you feel like you got rid of half your stuff, there is this weird thing that happens. You start to need stuff less and less.
Every time you get rid of stuff it makes it so much easier to get rid of even more. That’s why it’s important to keep re-evaluating the stuff you have to determine whether or not you are ready to get rid of more.
Make a “donate” bin
Choosing a designated bin to drop unwanted items throughout the month is a genius idea. Instead of doing one big clean sweep, you can casually discard unwanted items throughout the month and then make one easy trip to your local donation center.
Plus, all of the family members can get in on this! This process might be best done at the very beginning of the decluttering process so as you work from room to room you have less to filter through.
Stop clutter from coming in
After you have gotten rid of half your stuff, don’t just go ahead and replace all that stuff with new stuff!
Avoiding piling new clutter in your home. You can do this by declining gifts at Christmas or birthdays, stop making impulse purchases, and always remind yourself of the life plan you laid out. If something doesn’t help your plan, then you don’t need it.
Can you profit off what you keep?
If there are certain items you are forced to keep like a lawnmower, power tools, or a snowblower, consider renting these items out. This can help other people live a life with less clutter and allow you to make a profit off the things that you keep!