Day 3: Uncluttered

We’re on day three of 31 days to Embrace Your Space.
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I’m an all or nothing kind of girl – and so is my approach to decluttering. My (somewhat) crazy method seems a little out of order, but I literally decluttered my entire house in one weekend – including the dreaded “junk room.” It took 2 whole days, but I went through about 15 years worth of clutter in just one weekend.

Set aside a big chunk of time – maybe an afternoon, a whole day – whatever you can carve out. Pick a place to go pile it all up together. You can use your driveway, living room, wherever… just make it a big space. Put it all in a pile and have a helper to give you stuff from the pile and take it away to the next holding space.
This is a 3 step process with 3 holding areas. You need 3 zones: Keep, Donate, Toss. Your helper will hand you items you have about 3 seconds to choose a pile for it to go in. If you can’t decide, then put it in the keep pile.

Depending on how frustrated you are with your clutter, at the end of the first round of going through the pile, you’ll have a huge keep pile or a huge toss/donate pile. Don’t worry if you have a huge keep pile. Remember, it’s a process.

After the first pass through all your items, take the toss items to the trash/recycle and donate directly to your car. Then get ready for round 2.

Now more slowly go through the keep pile, and think carefully about each item. Do you really love, need or want the item? The question is not if you want to keep it for “someday.” Do you need it in your life now? Does it make your life easier/happier/better? Does it need repaired? Will you actually repair it? Will you actually recover/paint/whatever that piece? If the answer is no, then toss or donate accordingly. If yes, then put in the keep pile all over again.

At the end of the 2nd round of going through the pile, toss the trash & put the donate in the car again. Let’s get ready for round 3.

Each time you take something from the keep pile, go put it away. One by one, put everything away where you think it should go. You need to make sure that each item has a home – or it’s not useful to you. At the end, some of the items may make it to the donate or trash piles yet again.

It seems kinda crazy to handle things 3 times, but I find that it gets easier to let things go the more I am faced with the reality of my clutter.

Try this method with just your junk drawer… it really does work. Start small and build yourself up to big spaces like a garage or attic. Or… if you’re all or nothing like me… take a weekend, pile it all up in the yard and make some lemonade Smile

Starting tomorrow I’m going to share a few solutions on putting it all away.

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About Gina Luker

Gina Luker is a writer, photographer and lover of all things quirky. She's usually found with a drill in one hand and a cocktail in the other while blogging along the way. She's addicted to coffee, polka dots, rock stars, Instagram, and everything aqua.


  1. Isn’t it great to have things organized.Yes it is overwhelming when you are starting.But feels amazing when it is done.I usually go through my things every six months.It keeps me on track so I don’t let things get out of control.I only keep what I use and what I don’t goes off to charity.

  2. Most excellent advice, Gina!
    My big pile is in the basement, yet to be sorted through the second time.
    I have to wait till the weekend, but am excited to get free from the rest of the clutter.
    I am loving this series!
    Love ya!
    P.S. I love my iPhone case!

  3. Oh, I sure need to de-clutter. Looks like a good job for the next rainy day!

  4. I’m going through this process right now after years of collecting stuff from auctions, thrift shops etc. I finally realized how all this junk was weighting me down. The biggest problem I have is that it is literally truck loads of stuff to dispose of, and no boxes to contain it for giving away. I’ve been toying with the idea of a yard sale, but LOATHE the idea of pricing, etc. Any better good ideas out there?

  5. You’re soooo inspiring. Somehow, I don’t think two days would even start me on the path to DECLUTTERING.

  6. I need to get motivated to do this to our garage! Thanks for the great tips! Life to the full, Melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle

  7. Gina- I am truly loving this series! Everyday has been excellent!!

  8. I love to de-clutter…I think it’s time to do it again, though.

  9. I love organizing and getting rid of clutter. I just did that this afternoon. It certainly feels good when you get it done with.

  10. Gina, You’ve got us all thinking and rethinking. I’ve already gotten rid of lots that went to the thrift shop today. I’m ashamed to say I bought a few things there but little by little am getting rid of some things. My biggest hurdle I guess is all the glass collectibles I have out in the shed. I’m not going to just give them to the thrift shop, would like to and need to make some money off them. Have a few things worth some money. Guess I’d better list them on Craigs list or something like that. It’s time.
    I had a dining table/6 chairs that I sold to a consignment store 5 yrs ago at least. Also sold a buffet hutch on which all kinds of glass collectibles were on. Had to keep tables/hutch in mud room as we have no dining area. I got tired of dusting all of it, not getting to enjoy it. So now collectibles all live out in the shed in boxes.
    I also have several vintage tablecloths but now I’m starting to use parts of the cloths with holes or stains to use for table runners or ruffles on end of runners. Also cut one tablecloth that had panels into pillow covers. Turned out pretty cute. The material those tablecloths are made of is so strong the ruffles or pillows can take some hard use.
    Just figured I wasn’t getting any use out of tablecloths in a box so cut parts of them, turned out really cute. Going to try to sell them. Wish I had an Etsy store as I might be able to sell them as they’re a little different than other burlap runners I’m seeing on blogland. I also used paint cloth for one of the runners.
    I’ve used a couple runners in our bathroom and on an old chest in our bedroom. I put trim where the ruffle joins the table runner. I hand sew/hand pleat the ruffles on the runners. It’s feels good to make good use of something that’s been stored and different from others.

  11. I don’t have a problem with the decluttering. My biggest problem is where to put things after I decide what to keep. I never remember where I store things either. I am really appreciating you taking your time to help us all with this.

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