My number one tip for a clutter-free home


I’d love to share my number one tip for a clutter-free home.

We’ve all been there. Tidying up, assessing what we want to keep and what we want to toss or donate, when we realize we’re on the fence about too many things. We know we really don’t need them, but we feel somehow compelled to keep them.

Maybe it’s because we’re sentimental, maybe it’s because we have good memories associated with them, maybe it’s because they were gifts. But they’re holding us down, literally weighing down our homes.

Tip: Take photos of things that you’re having a hard time parting with. Then get rid of them.

For me, it was all the books I read growing up. My parents no longer wanted them in their house, so I’d been lugging them from apartment to apartment since college. I just felt so sentimental about them. I wanted to see my own kids read them some day. Although I knew it was ridiculous to have so many books when libraries and ebooks are so prevalent, I struggled to actually part with them.

But then it hit me – I should take photos of the front covers! That way, I could remember my personal copy, not forget all the great books I’d read, and then donate the books to people who will actually read them in the near future!

Once I had this idea, it took off. I used this idea for all kinds of things, with no regrets:

Art projects from grade school

I’ll never actually display them, but a photo can bring back the same memories as the art itself, without taking up room in a box somewhere.

High school yearbooks

In this case, I took photos of the cover and any pages I cared about. It took a little more time but, given how heavy and big yearbooks are, it was completely worth it.

Stuffed animals from growing up

I had a blue elephant that my grandparents’ friend Helen gave me when I was little. It was a favorite for many years, and incredibly hard to part with. But a photo will bring me all the happiness and memories that the actual elephant will!

Decorations from our wedding

We had a bunch of milk glass bud vases left from our wedding, and of course I have no need for 18 bud vases. This one was easier since we already have beautiful photos from our wedding itself.

Do you aim for a minimalist home? If so, what do you do to help yourself achieve that goal? I’d love to hear your tips.

(Photo credit: Brent Pearson, Flickr)


11 thoughts on “My number one tip for a clutter-free home

  1. That is a wonderful idea. I have my sculptures from grade school on display, but my paintings and other projects are in a box in the attic. I think it may be time to say goodbye to those.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a great question! I have NOT looked at the photos, including some I took years ago. But I also had not looked at the originals, and at least the photos don’t take up any physical space. I just keep thinking there might be some point in the future when I’ll wish I could remember what books I read growing up, and they’ll come in handy 🙂 Only time will tell!

      Liked by 1 person

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