It can be hard to let go of things and get rid of clutter. Clutter becomes overwhelming when we hold on to things we don’t need or use. Here are 7simple tips to help you decide effortlessly what to let go and what to keep when organizing your home.

Getting rid of clutter seems to be a hot topic in magazines and about town. Every magazine seems to have a headline about clearing clutter. I was teaching a class at the local University to a group of seniors 50 and older on clearing clutter and I asked them what they wanted to get out of the class. Marian slumped in her seat and asked how to know what to let go of and what to keep. Fifteen other heads bobbed up and down around the class room in agreement.

Some of those in the class wanted to downsize to stay in their own homes and others were planning on moving to condos or planning ahead to possibly moving to a retirement center. Everyone I organize with as a professional organizer realizes at some time they have too much stuff they don’t need, want, or use yet it is hard to decide what to let go of and what to keep. Often we think if we let something go, even if we didn’t know where it was or didn’t remember we had it that it will diminish our memories. That is not so.

Here are seven tips I shared with my class to help them assess what they have and make it easier for them to part with their treasures or trash as the case may be.

1. Start in specific place and go through each item there until you are finished in that area rather than jumping from place to place.

2. Go slowly—just like the tortoise in the story it is the slowest who “wins”. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you don’t have to hurry and make decisions to get your entire home done in a few days or a week. Trying to do it all at once is over whelming and discouraging and emotionally fatiguing.

3. As you look at each item consider how long it has been since you have used it. Or do you plan on using it in within the year. Honestly consider if you will ever need or use it again. If it is something you haven’t used in a long time and don’t plan on using again, let it go. Donate it to charity. By donating you are twice blessed—you have cleared clutter and you are blessing someone else’s life.

4. Often we hold on to things “because we might need it someday”. As you are sorting think (honestly) when would you ever use this item again? If you can’t think of a time that you will need it let it go.

5. Ask why you would ever need it again. Do you have an abundance of things that you never use? This can include clothes, holiday decorations, and kitchen utensils to name a few. Our lives change and as it changes it is time to let go of too many things and get rid of the clutter when we don’t love it, have a use for it or use it anymore.

6. As you are assessing each item consider who would ever ask you for it. If it was a gift is that person really going to query you as to where their gift is in your home? We often hold on to gifts as a sign of respect for that person when really it is just holding on to clutter.

7. Then consider what would be the worst thing that could happen if you got rid of it. It may mean you have to buy something new and new is good, many things have improved since you first bought that item. Or it could mean you have lived without using it this long so there is no reason to hold on to it.

As you are organizing, assessing and getting rid of clutter don’t linger with an item long enough that you develop a relationship with it and then keep it even though it doesn’t light you up, you have no use for it and nothing earth shattering will happen if you let it go.

Author's Bio: 

Get It Together Organizing is a dynamic organizing company providing both online and in home services. Professional Organizer Marilyn Bohn specializes in organizing for those who want the organized home of their dreams. She is the author of Go Organize! Her product line includes cutting-edge video workshops for your organizing needs. Sign up for free organizing tips at