True Change Today

Types of Clutter

Part Two

Clutter. Clutter everywhere.

In the last blog post we tackled the types of physical clutter, and today we’ll finish the list.

Your home is living space, not storage space.



Type 6. Expensive Clutter

All the things you pay good money for, but now they’re not used or loved as much as you thought you would. If you don’t use something regularly, no matter how much you spent on it, it’s not adding any value to your life. It becomes clutter.


How to deal with it?

Don’t keep something simply because of the cost. Keeping the item won’t recover your money. The money is already spent and the price you paid is now a sunk cost. Consider whether the item adds value or not. If not, get rid of it.

You can try to sell it and recoup some of the money, however, it’s important to keep realistic expectations when reselling. Probably you won’t get as much as you wanted, but remind yourself that the time, space, and peace you gain by getting rid of the clutter is valuable too.

Type 7. Clutter That Is Not Yours

How much of clutter is actually yours? How much do other people have stashed things in your house, garage, or spare room? Kids not living in the house, yet all their stuff still there?  

Sometimes the clutter in your home belongs to other people and other members of your family.


How to deal with it?

Never ever declutter someone’s else stuff. Never! You can make them feel violated and they may lose trust in you. 

Instead, call the people whose stuff it is and ask them to come and pick everything that is theirs. Give them a time frame and if they don’t come in time, tell them they won’t find the items anymore. Call them again before you get rid of something. After that, you have my permission to throw it all out. Remember that your home is not their storage, but your resting place.

Type 8. Seasonal Clutter

Decorating for a season or certain event can be fun, but if after Christmas is long gone, you still have Christmas decorations in your home, is time to clean them, box them up, and store them for the next holiday season.


How to deal with it?

Don’t let seasonal items sit in your home for the majority of the year. If you like them, take good care of them so they can last a lot of seasons to come. Clean them and organize them in labeled plastic bins, and then store them in the attic or garage. When the next holiday season comes, take them out and decorate your home in the spirit of the holiday you’re decorating for.

Type 9. Broken, but Fixable Clutter

Common, but tricky type of clutter are items that are broken but can be fixed or repaired. You may feel bad if you get rid of something you know you can repair and reuse. So you hold onto the item until it’s fixed. But more often than not, these items just sit in your home for months waiting to be repaired.


How to deal with it?

You may not have the skills, money, or time to do the repair or get it done by a professional, but then you need to be honest with yourself and realize your home isn’t a landfill. Give yourself a deadline and if you haven’t fixed it by the deadline, you’ll have a good sign you don’t truly use or value the item. Because if it was something you love and use often, it would be your priority to fix it.

Type 10. Perfectly Good Clutter

You might feel wasteful if you want to get rid of perfectly good things that you no longer use, need, or like. You may think that you should keep them Just in Case you need them someday because they’re still usable and in good condition. 


How to deal with it?

Don’t hold on to something just in case you need it in a hypothetical non-existent future, regardless of its usefulness or condition. That way we can have justification for every single item in our home. Instead, let it go. It may add value to someone else’s life.

Type 11. Clutter from The Past

This one is hard to get rid of because you’re holding onto something you used to use, need or love in the previous season of life. But you shouldn’t hold onto it because life isn’t static, and our needs, interests, and lifestyle are always changing.


How to deal with it?

Be honest and realistic about your needs today. Just because object A brought you lots of value last year, month, or week doesn’t mean it does today. If you haven’t used it in the last 3 months (or whatever time frame seems reasonable to you), and you know you won’t be using it in the next period, you likely no longer need to keep it.

Type 12. Nostalgia Clutter, also Known as Sentimental Clutter

If you hesitate to toss your mom’s china set you never use, or the teddy bear you got for the first b-day, you’re holding on to items that have nostalgic meaning. Sentimental clutter is the hardest clutter to eliminate. But The Minimalists said it best: Our memories are not in our things. Our memories are in us.

How to deal with it?

Remind yourself that if everything is special, then nothing is. If you have too many sentimental things, they dilute the value of all sentimental items and get lost amongst each other. But when you only keep the most important and special ones, you can appreciate what you’re keeping even more.

Step 1. Focus on what you want to keep and what brings you the most value.

Step 2. Sort through what is left and take pictures.

Step 3. Bring each item to your heart and say thank you for making good memories. Then eliminate the items. 

Find ways to display, use, or repurpose only sentimental items from Step 1 so you can appreciate them every day. 

P.S.: Clearing sentimental clutter is the hardest from the list. I recommend starting decluttering somewhere easier where you can make more logical and less emotional decisions. 

As you could see in the last 2 blog posts, there is an overwhelming number of clutter types. And I’m sure I still haven’t covered them all.

Keep rules for each type of clutter, and follow them rigorously. Failure to do so will run the risk of creating unnecessary piles of (junk) clutter.

If you know some other type of clutter in your home or have useful tips for our readers, share them in the comments down below.


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