What to Keep vs. What to Toss When Decluttering

Updated 1/23/23


What to keep and what to get rid of

It is natural to feel a sense of anxiety when throwing things away, as you may have a sizeable decluttering project or worry about regretting getting rid of sentimental items. When decluttering, don't procrastinate. Try to develop a strategy to clean your home fast, criteria for deciding what to get rid of, and a system for doing it.

4 Tips For Your Decluttering Project

Think back to when you had control of your home (when you first moved in, before stuff started to pile up). Didn't you feel peace of mind? Here are some tips to help you regain that feeling:

1. Don’t Procrastinate

Pick a start date, and do not move the date unless there is an emergency. Put some enthusiasm into this project planning when deciding how to clean your home fast, and definitely turn up your favorite music while you're doing it.

2. Develop Decluttering Strategies

Starting with the easiest room, make a list of each room in your home and the order you want to work through them. Bite off only what you can chew because nothing is more unmotivating than becoming overwhelmed with a huge, unachievable project.

3. Make Criteria for Deciding What to Throw Away

If it's an item you use, but you have more than one of these items, choose your favorite and let go of the others. For family heirlooms, don't be afraid to admit you aren't a fan of Grammie's dining table. Send a photo to your family members and tell them it's up for adoption; chances are they'll love it! If the item has sentimental value, by all means, store it. We all have certain prized possessions that are just too dear to toss.

4. Have an Organization System

The decluttering process runs much more smoothly if you have a system for how to throw things away. Collect four large boxes and four different colors of sticky pads, putting one sticky note on each box. When you're ready to clean your home fast, arm yourself with a pad of sticky notes in each of the four corresponding colors, and simply place a sticky note on it in the appropriate color.

Here's an example of the color-coded system:

“Keep” (Green): items that should be placed immediately in their new or assigned place.

“Toss” (Red): items that go right into the trash or into the car bound for a local donation site.

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“Store” (Orange): items that you aren't quite sure about.

“Rethink” (Blue): family heirloom furniture that can be reworked with new upholstery or refinished into something you love and works in your home.

Deciding what to keep or toss, or even what to call it—decluttering, downsizing, rightsizing—is always a step toward feeling better about yourself, your home, and your life. The important thing when figuring out how to clean your home fast is to accept that you can let go of things that have outlived their purpose to free up space. What you do next with that all that space can be rejuvenating!

Book an appointment with a Bassett Design Consultant and see how their expertise can help you mix in old favorites with new favorite Bassett pieces while creating a space you love. Create a Wishlist or Order a Catalog to start dreaming today!