Getting rid of clutter can be an emotional experience. Going into a cleaning project knowing you’re going to have to throw away sentimental objects, gifts, or other things you don’t want to get rid of can deter you from starting at all. But you don’t have to immediately get rid of all the possessions you’re attached to. There are a few types of clutter you can start with to help you transition into the cleaning process.

Old Clothes

You don’t have to purge your whole closet, but if you still have clothes that you haven’t worn in years or that don’t fit anymore, it’s unlikely you’re ever going to wear them again. Once clothes stop being functional, they start wasting space. Gently used clothes in good condition can be donated or even re-sold. This is a great way to clear out space and maybe even make a little bit of extra money.

Receipts, Documents, and Mail

Paper clutter is one of the most tedious forms of clutter to clean, but it’s also one of the easiest to let go of. Either commit to keeping it in one small filing cabinet or organizing system, or scan important receipts and documents into digital PDF files and get rid of the paper copies all together. Things like junk mail and advertisements should be thrown away as soon as you get them so they don’t start adding to the paper clutter.

Old Magazines and Newspapers

These kinds of items also contribute to paper hoarding. They tend to be a little more sentimental and therefore a little bit harder to let go of, but it is possible to compress the amount of paper clutter. Old magazines and newspapers tend to pile up, so if you’re not reading the magazines or displaying them for decoration, they should probably be tossed. Consider how unlikely it is that you’ll ever go back and re-read or re-use everything you’ve saved. If you have any paper items you’re particularly attached to, you can find a number of design projects to help you turn some of your paper clutter into decorative displays.


If you have things in your home like 4 copies of the same book, or 3 pairs of the same shoes, you should consider how much space these unused objects are taking up. Senseless clutter can quickly start to pile up, so it’s important to get rid of clutter you may not care about. Pick one of each item and donate the rest of your duplicates.