Do you feel like your home is piled with too much stuff? You’re not alone. Especially in today’s society where buying something new with the click of a button is almost too easy (thanks Amazon), we’re constantly stuffing our houses full of things we don’t need.

This creates more than a clutter problem. It also contributes to excessive waste and even anxiety for those living in spaces inundated with too many things. “A place for everything and everything in its place” is a nice idea. However, without the proper amount of space, it can quickly lead to chaos.

That’s one reason why many are downsizing what they own can carving out a more minimalist way of life—and the first step to living with less is saying goodbye to all of that excess stuff.

Do You Really Need That?

Just by looking around your home, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll find tons of items you haven’t touched in months—or even years.

But how do you decide what to keep and what to throw out? It’s never an easy task, but it’s an integral aspect of downsizing your lifestyle. If you’re stumped on how to get started, try asking yourself these questions as you sort through your stuff.

Have you used it within the last year?

First off, look at each object and consider whether you’ve used it within the last year. Did you buy that cute shirt on a whim three years back—that still has the tags. Maybe you’re holding onto a baseball bat from your college days. You graduated a decade ago.

The thought, “I might need this someday” is incredibly common. However, it’s also the biggest reason for most unnecessary clutter. If an item hasn’t been of any use within recent memory, chances are you’ll never miss it.

If an object isn’t regularly used—why?

Before you say goodbye to something for good, there are a few legitimate reasons to hold onto those scarcely used items.

  • Sentimental Reasons
    From childhood photographs to grandpa’s favorite sweater, some things mean too much to let go, even if you rarely pull them out of the attic. Still, there can be a fine line when it comes to defining sentimental. That comically oversized margarita glass you got in Vegas might have some fun memories attached—but is it really worth taking up space? Probably not.
  • Seasonal Items
    Certain objects are only meant to be used occasionally. This can include things like holiday decorations, ski equipment, camping gear, etc. Especially if the items are on the pricier side—and you plan on using them again within the next 2-3 years—consider holding onto them.
  • Collectibles
    Similar to sentimental items, collectibles can play an important role for many hobbyists, though these too can quickly get out of hand. If you are a collector, ensure you keep these objects well organized and your spending habits under control. Otherwise, it could spiral into a more serious hoarding problem.

Now that you’ve chosen which items you’ll be parting ways, it’s time to figure out what to do with everything.

Make Money Off That Extra Stuff

Turning trash into treasure can go both ways if you sell off your extra possessions. Especially with easy-to-use platforms and apps like LetGo, eBay and OfferUp, you’ll be shocked at quickly the cash racks up without even leaving the couch!

Boost Your Karma Points By Donating Items

If you’re looking to do a good deed—or just don’t want to deal with the hassle of selling your things—donation is the perfect way to cut down on clutter.

From local shelters and services to national charities like the Salvation Army or Goodwill, people within the community can benefit from you giving away what you rarely use. Plus, you’ll be one step closer to living a more minimalist lifestyle.

Take Back Your Space with Storage

Think you’re ready to downsize but feeling iffy about parting with your things forever? Rather than selling those favorite belongings or giving them away, stick them into storage until you decide what’s best.

Self-storage is a popular and widely available option. Then, as long as you keep paying rent, you’ll have a dry, safe location for your belongings.

Another increasingly popular storage option is on-demand storage. Though it hasn’t expanded to as many locations as self-storage, on-demand storage typically involves a professional team coming to the client and transporting their items to a secure storage facility. Oftentimes, everything can be arranged straight from an app.

Freeing up space with the touch of a button? It doesn’t get much easier than that!

Downsize Your Space

So, you’ve finally said goodbye to boxes of extra clutter. Why not take the next step in minimal living by shrinking your living space as well?

Now, we’re not suggesting that everyone should sell their home to live in a dingy studio. However, even modest downsizes of your living space can create a positive impact that ripples far beyond just lowering the monthly rent—although that’s always a huge perk.

First off, smaller spaces are usually a greener option than larger ones. That’s because less energy is necessary to keep those spaces efficiently running. Just think: less square footage means fewer wasted resources for things like heating, cooling, water, etc. By downsizing, you’ll likely limit your purchase choices which also cuts down on waste.

Also, with the rising popularity of micro-apartments and tiny homes, it’s easier than ever to find incredible dwellings and amenities perfectly tailored to our modern tastes. That means you can still live in full style and complete comfort while still living life like a true minimalist.