Purging with Purpose: Beating the Clutter

Purging in your home creates an environment that streamlines and reflects a meaningful, comfortable lifestyle for the future. Clearing clutter is a process that makes a difference to the way you view your home and live in your home. Whether preparing for a move or seeking a healthier home life, try some, or all, of the tips below to save space throughout your home.

The Monthly Purge

Creating a monthly routine to save space could help you stay ahead of clutter before it takes over your home. Each room should have designated spaces for everything that belongs in the room. We have tips to help you decide what should stay and what should go in your bedrooms, the living room, as well as the kitchen and dining room as you purge on a monthly basis.


  • Pillows that are no longer full or comfortable
  • Loose papers
  • Tangled, broken, discolored or unwanted jewelry
  • Clothes you never wear
  • Excess or old hangers
  • Old gadgets and electronics
  • Excess ties in your closet
  • Forgotten items stored under the bed
  • Junk from the nightstand or dresser junk drawer
  • Old t-shirts and white undershirts

Space Saving Suggestions:

  • Upgrade your nightstand to a multi-use with lots of drawers and spaces for clothing and other essentials.
  • Beautiful decorative storage containers in small sizes are a great way to hide small items and add color to a room when placed on a table or dresser.

Living Room

  • Extra Candles
  • DVDs, CDs, and VHS
  • Worn blankets or throws
  • Throw pillows that have lost their shape
  • Old magazines
  • Ripped, torn, stained or worn rugs
  • Knick knacks, odds and ends, and unnecessary decorative items
  • Remotes to old devices
  • Broken or worn furniture
  • Electronics that are not commonly used

Space Saving Suggestions:

  • Choose coffee and end tables that maximize the space it uses up by doubling as extra storage with drawers or neat shelving.
  • Use the bookcase as a storage solution. For ideas on repurposing a book shelf read DIY Projects to Get You Organized: Repurposing the Bookshelf.

Kitchen & Dining Room

  • Rusted or broken utensils
  • Duplicate utensils, tools, or appliances
  • Storage containers with missing lids
  • Rarely or never used extra dishes
  • Extra or old cleaning supplies
  • Broken or chipped cups, plates, or glasses
  • Rarely or never used small appliances
  • Extra table linens
  • Excess dining table décor
  • Canned goods and spices that are outdated or unlikely to be used

Space Saving Suggestions:

  • Use wall-mounted storage to make the most of wall space by mounting rows of racks.
  • Use a cart in the kitchen or dining room to expand your work and storage area without taking up a large amount of floor space.

The Weekly Purge

Weekdays can be hectic for many of us. If you are helping a parent clear clutter or tidying up your own home, this makes deep cleaning nearly impossible during the week. One way to make weekday decluttering less of a daunting task is taking things on a few minutes or an hour at a time. Believe it or not, you can make great progress in 15 -30 minutes. Use the tips below to quickly clear space.

Designate a basket or bin for mail and maintain it each week.
Use a basket in a convenient area to hold your recent mail. Clear the container once a week to stay clutter free.

Clear the counter of rarely used appliances.
Appliances tend to take up large amounts of space. One way to quickly give any space a facelift is clearing the counters by removing appliances that are rarely used to remove clutter.

Inventory and discard forgotten fresh produce, herbs and leftovers.
Fresh produce, herbs, and leftovers have a limited shelf life. If you think your refrigerator is a bit cluttered, take a few minutes to get rid of forgotten produce and days old leftovers.

Create donation containers in bedrooms to purge weekly.
What feels better than finding ways to serve your community? If you have a surplus of useful gently used items have a donation box ready each week. You can extend this concept to the pantry if there are food items you are sure you won’t prepare.

  • Be realistic. Set attainable goals for yourself, and set a reasonable time for decluttering sessions based on your need. If you’re moving, you may be in more of a rush and need to get more done in a shorter amount of time. If this is the case, Caring Transitions can help!
  • Collect garbage & recyclables first. It can be surprisingly motivating to see how much clear space that alone creates.
  • Focus on the task at hand; don’t get caught up in everything you need to do at once.
  • Use a checklist if you need!
  • Focus on progress, not perfection. Our belongings and spaces are always evolving and there is no “perfect” answer when it comes to decluttering. If you are happy with your progress, that is perfection.
  • Break it up. If you’ve got a lot of space to declutter, or a lot of things—or both—break it up into more manageable, bite size sections. For example, work through a large bookshelf one shelf at a time.
  • Be kind to yourself. Talk to yourself out loud. Give yourself encouragement as you would a friend.
  • Get support. Ask friends and family members to help and support you, even if it’s on the phone or a video call.

If you’re stressed about decluttering, Caring Transitions is here for you. We offer compassionate assistance with relocation, downsizing, and online auctions.

by Stacey Himler, Owner of Caring Transitions of Southern Delaware

Get in touch: SHimler@caringtransitions.com


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