How to get rid of your extra stuff in 3 easy steps

It was early in the morning, and what I noticed upon scanning my room caught me by surprise. I hadn’t given a good hard look at my room in months. That morning, though, when I actually spent some time to truly observe, I saw a mountain of things.

I spend more time in my room than any other place on Earth, yet I had failed to notice the slow accumulation of STUFF (Shit That U Fucking Forgetabout). It’s unsurprising, though. It’s all too easy to allow the familiar to merge and morph into new things without taking a second glance. Going online shopping and getting new things feels great in the moment (“Yay! A new pair of shoes!” or “Awesome, my golf balls finally came!”). But as time goes on, those things start to build up.

It’s like going out an eating fast food every day— it’s delicious when you’re eating, but as the weeks and months wear on, your arteries clog. Leaving things in your house won’t clog your arteries, but it will clog your sense of cleanliness and freshness. Every now and then, you need to purge.

Here’s what to do when you’re starting to sour on stepping over your old things:

  1. Sell it. Find the nicest things that you don’t use and sell them online. Preferably, they’re small and light so that shipping won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Maybe you have a remote control flying shark laying around that you’ve never opened (don’t ask). Sell it on eBay! There’s a great service called WowLister that allows you paste in an Amazon link and automatically lists that item on eBay. WowLister will fill out the product description, images, and everything else you need to get an eBay listing set up. If you have baby shoes you’d like to sell, WowLister will generate a nice title like “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
  2. Donate it. Put all your extra clothing into a big bag, and send it off to Goodwill. How do you know if you still want a particular piece of clothing? Pick it up, and if you haven’t worn it in the last 4 months, toss it (unless it’s a tuxedo).
  3. Chuck it. Most of your things won’t fall into the first two categories. Unfortunately, most people don’t want your stuff. For something that you haven’t used in months (maybe even ever), you should seriously consider throwing it in the trash. Imagine you’re about to move somewhere and can only bring 3 or 4 boxes. Anything that wouldn’t fit into those boxes should be trashed.

Of course, you might need to take small steps to get to a tidier room. It’s a bad idea to get up and run a marathon without ever having run more than 5 miles. It’s also a bad idea to decide one morning to throw everything out of your apartment. You’ll probably want your toothbrush back at some point.

However, if you take baby steps, you’ll be on your way to a happier, less messy, life.