Sifting Through the Junk – Do I Keep it or Toss it?
This is the age-old question, isn’t it?
It’s easy for some people.  Haven’t used it in a year?  Get it out!   Doesn’t fit me?  Gone!   Broken? Buh-bye!
And then there’s the rest of us.
At times in my life, I’ve really been a bit jealous of people who can look at items, instantly make that call, and then send it out for disposal or donation without a second thought.
At other times, I’ve just thought they were a bit… well…. Crazy.  “You’re just getting rid of that?  But you could sell it – you could use – you might need it someday.”  (That whole “need it someday” thing…. Yeah… that’s the kiss of death when you’re trying to declutter your home.)

So for those of you wonderful people who don’t struggle with these questions…. The rest of us are in awe, a bit jealous, or just don’t comprehend you. But regardless – we wish you the best.
And for those of you who truly struggle with the decisions and the GUILT – we have some tips and tricks for you. Maybe there’s a tool in this toolbox that you can incorporate to your own cleanout projects.


Consider How Your Closet is Set Up
One of the simplest things to try is rotating your clothes. When things come out of the wash, they get put in the back of the line. You'll literally forced to look through all that other stuff on your way to that favorite shirt or jeans. Roughly once every few months (like when you're switching things around for the changing season – oh look, perfect timing!) you can pull those skipped items out and ponder why they're not being worn.  Little tear in it – can you darn it or does it need to go away? Stain that you can’t get out? Donate. (Yes – donate. Our local Goodwill actually sells stained clothing to a recycler for shredding) Uncomfortable or unflattering?  Donate donate donate! I keep a bag in my closet specifically for those donatables so I can get them out at the moment I make the decision.

 Instant Decisions when Possible
If you put clothes on and are immediately taking them off because they're uncomfortable, unflattering, or just unwearable due to damage - get rid of them immediately. Trash or donate bin but let them go! They aren't going to suddenly improve for being washed or put back in the closet. Yes, it may be hard to pull that plug. But you deserve to have a home full of things you love that you actually USE.

This also goes for things that you have to stop using because they are broken. It’s one thing if you’re reasonably certain that you can have it fixed or there’s a handyman in the house who says it can be fixed. But if you’re at a loss for a real repair plan, just let it go. It’s not going to get fixed sitting in a drawer and rotting, but you can open up space for other items.


 Be Honest With Yourself
Yes, you could possibly sell those barely worn tennis shoes…. But will you? Some people excel at moving goods on Facebook Marketplace and other apps. They’re happy to photograph, write up the listing, and answer questions. And if this is you – then great!  Start listing stuff and get it out of your house.

But other people don't have the time or the patience. Maybe you don’t want strangers coming to your house. Perhaps you just don’t want to deal with the hassle. In that case – be honest with yourself about the whole resale option. There’s absolutely something to be said for just bagging it up, dropping it at your favorite charity, and smiling as you drive way.


Check Out the Values on EBay and Online Apps
If you’re debating whether something is worth selling, there’s an easy way to find out. You can go on eBay, change the custom search settings to look at the closed auctions, and see what the items are really selling for. There’s also an app you can put on your phone called Lens. Just snap a picture and see if the internet bots can instantly find you similar items along with their current selling prices. You may decide that selling it is worth the hassle, or you may realize that the value just isn’t there and it’s time to let go of the piece.

 Don’t Let the Bagged Stuff Hang Around
Once you get the goods bagged or boxed for donation – don’t let it linger in your closet!  Close up the bag and put it straight into your trunk. That way, you can make the drop the next time you drive by.  If you’ve assembled things for the trash, the same rule applies. Get it out to the can as soon as possible so that you won’t forget and keep tripping over it for another week.

 Remember How to Eat an Elephant
How do you eat an elephant?  One spoon at a time, of course.

Decluttering your home is the same way. You’re not likely to go through the entire house and sort through every single room in one day. In fact, that’s a really good way to get burned out and give up on the entire process. A better option is to break it down into smaller segments – and how you break it down is far less important than just setting a goal and keep stepping towards every day. One option is to work one room at a time. But my favorite when you’re first starting out is to work through it all two bags at a time. Yes – two. Grab both bags (or boxes) and go through the house looking for things that you can pitch or donate. When the containers are reasonably full, you’re done for the day. Toss the donations in your trunk, put the trash in the outdoor can, and treat yourself to a well-earned break.

 If you decide that you need to move faster with the junk removal, then of course JDog is happy to help!  You can also reach out to us for removing those larger items that won’t simply fit in your trash can or trunk..

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