Tips for Deciding Which Items to Keep or Toss ​

by Dusty Rhodes on Oct 18, 2023  in 


Every item you own, from clothing and accessories to kitchen gadgets and small appliances, takes up valuable space in your home. Over time, your belongings can slowly start to take over, leaving your home feeling cluttered and disorganized. Decluttering is a necessary part of keeping your home neat and tidy, but it can also be a stressful process for many. Getting rid of things can sometimes be very difficult, as we may feel a sense of guilt or shame about parting with certain items. Whether it's guilt about getting rid of something that was a gift or shame about tossing something that was expensive, we all have our reasons for keeping items. When faced with the challenge of trying to decide which items you should keep or toss, consider the following tips for how to make an informed decision.

Toss it if…

1. You have more than you need

Take inventory of your belongings and if you have duplicate items, it’s time to sort through them and toss a few out. For example, if you have enough coffee mugs to supply an army, you can afford to toss a few out. There is no need to keep more items than you can actually use.

2. It’s something you don’t really love

When we receive a gift, we oftentimes feel inclined to keep it simply because it was a gift. However, that gift serves no purpose if you aren’t going to use it. Remind yourself that it's just an object and consider giving it to someone else who might be able to use it.

3. It’s broken or not worth repairing

If you own an item that is broken or not working properly, you should start by considering the cost of the repair vs the value of the item. If it’s not worth the cost to repair the item, then it’s time to let it go.

4. You don’t use it very often

How many times have you hung onto something because you might use it later. A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used an item in 3-4 months, you probably don’t need it.

Keep it if…

1. It’s sentimental gold

Sometimes we come across items that we can’t get rid of because they hold sentimental value. Some examples are greeting cards or children’s artwork. The fact is, we can’t save every item we have ever received, but we can save the ones that mean the most to us. You can also find different ways to cherish these items, such as compiling them into a book that takes up less space.

2. You use it regularly

If the item is something you use often, it’s probably best to keep it. Otherwise, you will probably end up buying a replacement item later.

3. You really love it

Items that really bring you joy and make you happy aren't considered clutter. Maybe it’s that homemade picture frame your child made or that vase that reminds you of a trip. Items that you really love and cherish should be kept, because there are plenty of other items that don’t fill you with the same joy.


Dusty Rhodes