Mid-week three

Let it go: 3 steps to declutter and purge for the New Year

Have you ever stood in your closet and wonder, how did all that stuff get there? Or maybe look in your office and realize you just bought a book you already had?

It’s so easy for things to pile up.

Usually a good time for me to evaluate my living and work space is at the start of a new year. What’s working? What’s not? Do I need to reorganize? Does anything need to be decluttered? From there, I begin the decluttering and purging process.

Like most things in life, there is not a one size fits all approach to purging. What works for one person may not work for another. The important part is to start somewhere.

If you are looking to declutter your space and purge for a more peaceful and productive home or work environment, here are some suggestions for you and your family.

Ask the important questions

Usually when I buy something, I have every intention on using it. Notice I said intention. But over time, what was once great in one season is now just collecting dust in the next. So, I get ready to ask myself some tough questions.

  • Do I love this?
  • Do I use this? If so, when was the last time I used it?
  • Would I even notice if this was gone?
  • Does this have more than one purpose?
  • Can I store this properly without the space being cluttered?
  • Does this have value to my family now or in the foreseeable future?

Answering these questions can help to decide what to keep and what to let go, because letting go of our stuff can sometimes be really hard. Or is that just me?

Get others involved

Decluttering and purging can be a family affair. Instead of just deciding to do it all yourself, I encourage everyone to be involved in the decluttering and purging process. During a family meeting:

  • Identify areas of responsibility
  • Number of items to purge (particularly for children)
  • Timeframe to complete the process

For those with children, allow each child, no matter how young, to choose one or two pieces to purge. It doesn’t matter if they decide toys, books, or clothing. The idea is to let go of what no longer serves a purpose or no longer gives us joy. Of course, this process may mean merely removing items from their rooms to be placed in their children memory boxes.

This purging process helps teach our children how to choose what they use and what they love while letting go of the unnecessary. Now mommas what they decide to keep and what you want them to keep might not be the same things. That’s okay (even if a little scary). Our role is to guide not control through the process.

Create a donation station

A part of making decluttering and purging a success is identifying what you will do with the items. Create a space in your home where you will place the things that will be donated. It can be a box or even a large trash bag. This way each person knows what to do with the items to purge, and it does not create more clutter.

Once you have gathered all of the items, decide where you will take them. Will you donate it to a local thrift store? Or maybe you know a momma with younger children who would benefit from the gently used toys, books, and clothes. What a blessing to be able to help others. Whatever you decide to do, do it in a timely manner. Otherwise, you might be like me, driving around for months with bags in the trunk of your car. (I’m not the only one right?)


By intentionally deciding what let go, what to keep and why, you can create a living and work space that works for you and your family.

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20 comments on “Let it go: 3 steps to declutter and purge for the New Year

  1. Oh my goodness, YES!! I need to de-clutter in the worst possible way!!

    • Mamie L. Pack

      Just start with one area. What is one spot you could declutter in an hour?

  2. This is a great checklist. This applies to my kids too! I often hide some of the toys they don’t use, to see if they even notice that the toys are missing. If they don’t notice for a few weeks, the toys get donated.

  3. Such great ideas! I definitely need to clean out my closet!

    • Mamie L. Pack

      Start with one item! What are you getting rid of this week?

  4. Having the same problem too! I often hear this disturbing question in my mind: Maybe it will be useful? (in case of the only child it’s even worse) So relieved, when the part of my wardrobe is already gone 🙂 The little questionnaire from the beginning sounds like a good start.

    • Mamie L. Pack

      I have a harder time purging my kids’ things than mine, especially when we were not sure if we were done having children.

  5. Such a great idea! We need to declutter, but I like to wait till spring and it’s warmer out.

    • Mamie L. Pack

      We do a deep declutter each season. It helps keep things manageable.

  6. Sonja- Too Much Character

    Your last line got me. Busted! I currently have some items to drop off to be donated that have been there for a week now. I love your suggestions for how to get kiddos involved!

    • Mamie L. Pack

      Ha!! Been there. Hope you get it all dropped off this week. If we get the kids involved early then it’s a way of life later.

  7. Kristen Still

    I need to do this! I love the idea of a donation station!

  8. marjiemare

    New year, new start, and new beginning for me. It is about time to declutter and I am grateful for your post. I will follow those tips and I will share with you.

  9. I love the question would I notice if this was gone? I think that’s a great tool to know if it’s time to let go of something.

    • Mamie L. Pack

      Yep! A lot of time we just hold on to hold on. Let it go!

  10. I read this at a perfect time! we are trying to completely de-clutter our office because I feel like it helps me focus better. Thank you so much for the tips! bookmarking for sure!

    • Mamie L. Pack

      Yay!!! A clean and organized office makes for plenty of dreaming and doing.

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