Ways to Declutter Your Home and Life

By Angela Monroe - August 17, 2020

Ways-to-Declutter-Your-Life

Living the ‘simple life’ is nothing new. In fact, there are so many ways to downsize and declutter, garage sales and hard rubbish collections are a weekly sight in Australian suburbs.

There’s something to that famous line from the movie ‘Fight Club’: “The things you own end up owning you.” Stop impulse buying and save money for the more important things.

Keep your home clean and your storage spaces as storage spaces – not museums – with these awesome ways to declutter…

Old Clothes

old clothes

We’ll start with one of the big ones. Almost everyone has clothes in their closet that ‘used to look good’ or were never-worn Christmas presents or ‘too small but too good’ to get rid of. Start with these.

Spend a few hours going through your clothes and get rid of the ones you don’t / won’t wear. If in doubt, try them on. If you find something you like, put it in the front of your closet so it’ll stay in rotation.

Media

old movies and games

Netflix, Stan, AnimeLab and other streaming services are great for decluttering. All those old dvds, playing cards and even CDs, including old games as well as music are destined for the bin. Of course, some special collector items or things with sentimental value may not be ‘binnable’ but the bulk likely is. Chances are you won’t be watching that Simpsons Season 3 DVD box set or playing with Pokemon or basketball cards again. 

As an added bonus, you may find something that’s shot up in value. Make sure to have a quick Google if you come across anything you might be able to sell.

Here are some surprising old media items that have risen in value:

Original & complete Final Fantasy VII (PlayStation1) game

Pokemon Trading Cards

Original & complete Nintendo Game Boy

Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Box Set

Original & complete retro video games

Kitchen Appliances

old kitchen

These items lose value pretty quickly as newer and more desirable options come out. If your old toaster is still sitting in the cupboard along with several sets of cutlery, bowls and plates you never use, it’s time to part ways.

Furthermore, next time you’re shopping for a new kitchen appliance, consider an option that can handle multiple tasks – some smart products like ovens can quickly and efficiently toast bread for example. Do you really need a popcorn maker or another electric grill when other appliances can do the job?

Sports and Hobby Equipment

old soccer ball

These items can take up a considerable amount of room. That guitar and drum set from high school or those golf clubs gathering dust – there’s no point keeping old equipment that’s becoming more and more outdated. 

Often, handing it down to a younger generation to learn on is a good step before going to the garbage.

Tools and gardening equipment can also quickly clutter a shed. Have a look to see if there are any old, rusted snips, saws or the like. Often these do nothing more than create a danger and act as a home for spiders.

Cars and spare parts can be another one that falls into this category. There are hazardous waste disposal facilities near all populated centres in Australia – send your used oil, old paint and tyres their way. There are some pretty big reasons to buy a small car too which free up a lot of room in your driveway. 

Unused Furniture

old retro chairs

Another clutter-classic. If you’re storing old and dated furniture that you think you’ll never use again, get rid of it. A common situation is retro hand-me-down coffee tables and chairs from the 1970s (or earlier). There’s no point in keeping these for the day you invent a time machine. 

Make sure to check online, as some retro items can hold value. Checking with family members is also a good idea –  don’t throw anything out that has sentimental value to someone.

Decorations / Artwork

decorative old clocks

One of the best ways to declutter is to unclog those hallways and shelves. Porcelain figures, old paintings, soft toys, decorative dinner plates and vases and even that fake samurai sword set you bought overseas – people accumulate a lot of random ‘stuff’.

Like most things that can be removed to declutter, make sure to do your research and check online to get an idea of the value. 

So what can you do with all this old stuff?

stormtrooper selling things

Turn it into numbers:

Numbers with a dollar sign in front to be more specific. GumTree is one of the first places that spring to mind. Get an idea of the value of the good quality items you’re getting rid of and take some decent photos. Creating an online advertisement is easy and often free.

Give it to someone less fortunate:

Donating your old (but usable) belongings to those in need is a great way to help your community and declutter at the same time. Organisations like St Vincent de Paul and The Salvation Army for example, can find your old stuff a new and appreciative home.

Recycle it:

There are a number of ways to declutter by recycling old belongings. Check with your local council to see if their hard rubbish collection will recycle it. Alternatively, you may have to transport it to a recycling centre.

Conclusion

minimalist desk

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much more room your home can have with a simple declutter. There are many more benefits too: Clean up those hidden dust piles, make a little extra cash if you can sell something and learn to avoid unnecessary purchases in the future.

Angela Monroe
Angela Monroe is the Community Manager at The Positive Group, specialising in giving people the information that they need when they need it, and putting you on the path to a fair financial future. She has 8 years of experience in helping Australians find the right finance solutions, and regularly contributes articles to empower Australians with the knowledge they need to become financially healthy.

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