How to Get Rid of Stuff when Organizing

Published on: Author: Anne Langton

Our society teaches us very well how to consume but not necessarily how to discard.  Throwing stuff out can be often stressful and overwhelming.  Here are some tips on how to get rid of stuff when organizing.  As a professional organizer I assure my clients that they are the decision makers of what stays and what goes.  The trick is to determine what’s worth keeping and is it worth the price you pay for keeping it.


Some might think that a perfect world would be one where closets, files, and garages expand accordingly with its contents.  The fact is that STUFF can carry with it STRESS.  This is particularly true when it comes to home and business offices.  If we don’t regularly use or love something eventually there is a price to pay like…

  • TIME…when hours upon hours are spent looking for things because we have to dig through piles of stuff, this is time wasted.  If you are a business owner, this means money wasted!
  • ENERGY…looking and looking means tons of personal energy wasted…wasted on a useless activity.  It is non productive and self defeating
  • SPACE…I always remind my clients that real estate that is occupied with useless or unimportant stuff NOW means something that is useful or loved down the road will not be welcomed.  
  • MONEY…getting organized reveals amazing things!  In an office space, you will be able to scratch certain things off your office supply shopping list for the next 2 years!  And most importantly your productivity will soar when working in an organized space


still…breaking up is hard to do.  So ask yourself these questions to help determine if something should be tossed…

  1. CAN I FIND IT ONLINE?…particularly true for product magazines.  After all how many Pottery Barn catalogs do you really need?
  2. CAN IT BE REPLACED EASILY?…Keeping a 99 cent switch plate is simply not worth the energy sapped by holding on to it
  3. DO I USE IT REGULARLY?…How about those paint cans…is it worth the real estate they require?
  4. DO I LOVE IT?…there is great value in surrounding ourselves with things we love.  Just ask yourself if the price you pay in TIME, ENERGY, SPACE or MONEY is worth it.
  5. ARE THERE LEGAL/TAX IMPLICATIONS…check with your accountant or attorney.


Besides also being environmentally correct, many people can let go of something if they know it will go toward a good purpose.

SHRED:  Keeps paper out of landfills and provides material for other uses.

DONATE:  Donate to established organizations  This website called The Stuff Stop provides tons of information on all sorts of stuff that can be donated in your local area.  Additionally check your local community for fund raising tag sales.  They love getting good used stuff.

RECYCLE:  Recycling is no longer just paper and plastics.  Check out this website Earth 911 for information on how to recycle just about anything in your local area.

TRASH:  Sometimes this is the only option but many times its an option that will serve you very well.


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