You’ve Got Too Much Stuff. 3 Smart Ways to Declutter Your Home by 2024.
Worried about new acquisitions filling up your home this holiday? Here, organisational experts share tips to jettison old, unwanted items—whether you’re motivated by profit, charity or sheer exhaustion.
SMUG MINIMALISTS often tout the “one in, one out” rule, a clutter-control practice that involves removing one item from your home any time you add another. But during the amped-up accumulation of the holidays, even typically type-A housekeepers can find themselves derailed and searching for ways to cull the excess. “So much stuff is coming into our homes this time of year, along with pressure to be jolly,” said Chicago-based professional organiser Sarah Parisi of the Clutter Curator. “It’s a natural time to declutter.”
To help expedite the process, here she and other home experts share tips for deaccessioning effectively.
What to Do If…You Want to Make Some Cash
Prioritise. “The biggest question I ask my clients is what’s worth their time,” said Washington, D.C.-based decluttering expert Jenny Albertini. “Identify which pieces offer the highest return and focus your efforts on [selling] those.”
Local auction houses or upscale online décor marketplaces—like Incollect, 1stDibs or Chairish—are Albertini’s go-to for unloading particularly valuable furnishings. For everything else, New York-based interior designer Amy Lau prefers Facebook Marketplace. “It’s quick and commission-free,” she said—and though managing the selling process can be laborious, the payoff is usually worth it.
Craving a truly clean slate? Check EstateSales.org to find a house-clearing company to prep your home for a monster tag sale. “They’ll keep a percentage of the profit,” explained Albertini. “But you do much less work.”
What to Do If…You Want to Do Good
“The best way to get rid of stuff is whatever gets it out of your house fastest—usually donation,” said Dallas-based decluttering expert Dana K. White. For that reason, she encourages clients to think of organisations like the Salvation Army as service providers—and not to get hung up on which charity feels like a “just-right” match. Start with local homeless shelters, churches or Goodwill, which is as “ubiquitous as Starbucks” and a “good option for generalised donations,” Albertini said. Animal shelters sometimes accept odds and ends—like pillows and bedding—that other organisations won’t.
If you’re ready to part with an item but believe someone else could cherish it, steer toward organisations like Humble Design. This nonprofit—which operates in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, San Diego and Seattle—collects donated furniture and household items either by drop-off or pick-up and stores the goods in their warehouse. Humble’s designers and volunteers later “shop” the warehouse to furnish homes for families emerging from homelessness. Similarly, to keep reusable household items from landing in landfills, Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores accept used furniture, appliances, housewares and building materials and resell them to the public at discount, using the profits to build affordable housing worldwide.
What to Do If…You Want to Do Almost Nothing
Does decluttering seem like just another chore? For clients who are loath to add another item to their to-do list, Albertini recommends OfferUp, a classified service akin to Facebook Marketplace that requires fewer fussy photos and descriptions. She also likes the consignment site Kaiyo; it will pick up, store, clean and deliver your furniture to its eventual buyer for a percentage of the sale price. For anything leftover, hire a hauling service like 1-800-Got-Junk, Dolly or Junk King, which do 100% of the heavy lifting for you. Bottom line, says Lau: “If you don’t love it or use it, lose it.”
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