Wondering what to keep, store, sell, or discard when you’re having a clear out? Here’s a quick guide to help you make decluttering decisions.
Decluttering is an excellent way to make the most of any space. But it’s important to go into a decluttering session with a plan – or you might find yourself standing in a sea of items, unsure if you’ll ever see your floor again.
Knowing what you’d like to keep, sell, donate, store, or discard before you start can help make the process run smoothly. While there’s bound to be some unexpected items that pop up along the way, you can largely predict where each item needs to be in advance.
The main rule of thumb is to keep items you use often – ideally every month, but at least once a quarter. If you use the item any less frequently, it might make more sense to store the item offsite in a storage unit.
Some examples of items you might use often include:
This list should hopefully be the easiest to write, as items you use frequently should be front-of-mind.
If you haven’t used something in the past 12 months and you’re unlikely to use it again in the future, it’s probably time to find it a new home. If the item is in good condition, you could try selling it secondhand on places like Trade Me or Facebook Marketplace, or donating it to an organisation or person in need.
Some examples of items to consider selling or donating include:
Some items might not hold enough economic value to sell, but still, be in greatcondition. Consider donating items to local charity shops, churches, kindergartens or play centres, schools, or other community organisations. Call ahead first to check whether they are accepting donations.
Some items are not simply not worth selling or saving. If something is broken or expired, it’s time to dispose of it either through recycling, composting or taking it to landfill.
Items to consider recycling, composting, or throwing away include:
If you can, try to avoid landfills. Some organisations enjoy ‘upcycling’ old furniture, for example. There are also organisations that specialise in recycling electronics and other household items. Auckland Council has a great search tool to help you identify whether something can be recycled.
Storage units are ideal for storing items you still appreciate and need but don’t want to access on a regular basis. They are also a safe place to store sensitive items, such as confidential documents and other paperwork.
Some examples of items to keep in your storage unit include:
At National Mini Storage, we have both household and commercial storage units, with measures in place to keep your precious items safe and secure. Enjoy peace of mind thanks to CCTV, daily security checks, external alarm monitoring, individual door alarms on each storage unit, and much more. We can even store your big-ticket items, such as cars, caravans, boats, and other important investments.
Decluttering has become something of a buzzword these past few years. Clearing out a space almost feels addictive – you may find yourself driving yet another load to landfill just to get that rush of a clear, clutter-free space.
However, a well-organised storage unit may be kinder to both your wallet and the environment in the long run. You can create the perfect space for your home or office while enjoying peace of mind that anything you use infrequently is easily accessible in your storage unit. You’ll get all the benefits of living minimalistically without putting pressure on landfills or needing to buy or rent items again in the future.
Sometimes, the hardest part of decluttering is making so many decisions. If you’re deliberating over an item, here are some prompts to help you gain clarity.
If you use an item at least once a quarter, it’s probably worth keeping close by.
Sometimes we keep items we think we might need in the future, but that day never comes. If you haven’t needed it for an entire year, it’s possible you won’t need it this year, either.
Storage units are a great place to keep seasonal items such as Christmas decorations or snow gear.
If the item will cost a lot of money to replace, it might be more financially beneficial to keep it in storage. Calculate the cost of storing the item versus replacing it to help you decide.
It’s ok not to want some items. If you no longer like it, there’s no rule to say you must keep it! Pass it on or store it for future generations.
Many businesses offer the option to rent specialist gear for a reasonable price as and when you need it, meaning you no longer need to own everything yourself. For peace of mind, research the rental market for each item before letting it go.
Now that you’ve run a mental inventory of what you’d like to keep, sell, donate, store, or discard, it’s time to dive in. If you’re new to decluttering, or you have a lot of items to sort through, it’s a good idea to start with a manageable and specific area of your home or office. For example, a small shelving unit or cupboard.
Now, you should only be left with the items you’d like to keep. Depending on the size of the area you’re decluttering, this process could take anywhere from 45 minutes to several days.
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