What To Do With Clutter From The Closet

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Look out folks, Mamas are gettin’ organized by learning what to do with clutter and we might even bless a family or make a little pocket change.  

It’s time, girlfriend, it’s time.
















Now that I’ve challenged you to drag all your junk important stuff down off the closet shelves as our first baby step of decluttering our lives, I’m guessing you’d like some tips like of what to do with it.  {The fam is probably hoping you are doing something with all that mess too}.  


What to do with clutter

According to my very scientific research on what people have in their closets besides clothes and shoes {well, I just asked a few friends}, most of you are hanging onto electronic thangs, books, boxes, decorations, paperwork, way too many kid drawings, bedding, and other random thangs. 

Am I right, am I right?

So, of all the stuff that you have removed from your closet shelves and now have junking up some other part of your house, I need to ask you a question about it all…..

This is deep and serious now, make sure you are ready.

Have you reached your little hands up on the shelves and taken any of this stuff down to use {look at, put on, decorate with, etc} in 2014?  

If you answered, “No,” we are going to deal with those right now.  

I want you to go separate those items from what you actually touched in 2014. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you are necessarily gonna trash it. 

Go do it, I’ll wait.  

“What if everything you took down from the closet shelves was untouched, you ask?”  You’re ready for the next baby step, then.

Let’s go.


How to purge when you don’t think you can

I want you to sit down in front of all of your lovelies.   You need to look at all of it with new eyes.  Think about what you really need – going forward in the future.

Stop thinking you may need it if you get around to ________________.  You can fill in the blank of your lameO excuse.  {I’m tough lovin’, here}.

I always used to do that too and guess what Sister, 99% of the time, it never happens.  Guess what else?

A house fire changes the complete outlook on your stuff, my friend.

Yep, every Mama’s worst fear— that everything you have- your kid’s first lock of hair, your family photos, memories, EVERYTHING, gone in an instant.  Well, not an instant, the firemen said it took seven minutes for everything we had to go up in smoke and burn to the ground.

If I had a picture of what was left, I would share it with you.  It’s ingrained in my mind forever though, I assure you.   Being able to look from the front yard and see all the way to the back of the roofless structure, nothing standing upright to block your view.  As you stand in silent shock, noticing the steam rising from the different sized mounds of black ashes that used to be our “stuff.”

Yep, that’ll change ya.   

God is good and we escaped with what was most important, our family.  God was so very present as our church and community rallied around us to provide what we needed.   

It was definitely a defining moment and I will never look at stuff the same way again.  As we rebuilt our home, I learned a lot about the joy that can be found as a homemaker in creating a welcoming and cozy haven that is not perfect but free of the excess that can distract us from what God wants us to spend time on.




After our experience, all items now have a meaningful purpose and if I’m in doubt,  I ask these questions:

  •  Does this item serve a purpose in my home right now?
  • If this item went missing, would I miss it?
  • Would this be a blessing to someone else more than me?

If you can answer, “no” to the first two then you may could trash it.  If you can answer “yes” to the last question, then we’ll figure out what to do with it.




If I decide that it is indeed something that I don’t want to just trash, I then decide if I will:

  • Repurpose
  • Give away
  • Recycle
  • Sell



There are many options of what to do with your old gadgets but before you do anything, you need to remove the personal data.  If you have an apple device, read this.  If you have an android device, read this.  If you have an old computer hard drive, read this.  Got something I haven’t mentioned? Message me.

After removing your data, you can either find a safe recycling center near you or trade them in at Gazelle and Amazon Trade-in for some green stuff in a very quick way.  I like quick and easy!



Your local library would probably love for you to bring them your assortment of books as would your local Goodwill Center or Salvation Army but call first to make sure they accept them.  

If you are an avid reader, you might enjoy Paperback Swap where you start by donating some of your books and then you get other books for free.  Wait, that’s not purging.  You’ll can tell I have issues with this one.   

You can get up to 80% back when you sell your old books and/or textbooks online to Amazon Trade-in.   This is very simple, there’s an app to use, and you may get free shipping.   You can tell I love this program.


Important Paper Clutter & Kid’s Artwork

I can’t stand the paper clutter but I’ve always been terrified of not having a paper record of something when I need it.  Also, my kiddo’s papers and artwork have been especially special since our fire disaster.

My solution for years has been to buy a big tupperware tub with a lid and dump all our paperwork into it and even put it in the attic to not  be clutter-y.  Fire can still destroy and it’s all piled together and would be a nightmare to find anything, right?

I’ve discovered a life-changing item for us all and I’m so tickled about it that I’m going to show you a photo of it…..

This my friend, is a compact, paper organizer scanner.

Any paper or document {or kid’s paper/art} can be scanned and saved safely in cyberspace for you to look at, use, or send to others via email and such.  

This is how Amazon describes it:

The Visioneer Mobile Organizer starts with a small portable scanner that weighs barely more than a 12 oz. bottle of water with dimensions similar to a rolled up magazine. Using Visioneer’s most advanced OneTouch scanning technology, the Mobile Organizer can scan any small receipt, ID cards or document up to 8-1/2″ x 14″ long. It produces clear and sharp scans in color or black and white. This small, lightweight device is an essential piece of business gear for any traveler and it will save you from having to wait in line at the hotel business center.

Everything Else

A discussion of clothes and shoes need their own post but if your items that need to go don’t fit in the above categories, then we’re calling it everything else.  For these items, I decide whether to donate to a charitable organization or list with Amazon Trade-In

With Amazon Trade-In, you don’t ship it until you know someone wants it, and even then, you get a free shipping label if you choose a certain way.  I don’t know, it’s easy and I like easy right now.

When I want to bless others with items that I own, I simply box up and head to one of the local charity organizations.  Find friends or church groups to join you as you research charitable organizations in your area and teach them what to do with clutter too.

I’ll see ya on the other side of the clutter, honey!


What other items besides clothes & shoes {we’ll talk about them later} are the hardest to let go of for you?


Was this helpful, friend?  I’d be tickled if you share by using buttons below.  😉



Published on HuffPost, Okefenokee Living Magazine, and more, Shan is a Family Travel Journalist with a passion for helping women lose the overwhelm of planning family-friendly trips in the south. She shares travel reviews & insider secrets that Women REALLY want to know about Georgia, Florida, & the Carolinas vacations.

☕️ It’s THE REAL DEAL around here ☕️



  1. Wendy
    March 2, 2015 / 8:26 pm

    Thanks so much for linking up with us on the Hip Homeschool Hop! I loved your article! I have a terrible time getting rid of clutter, and you made some great points here. Thank you for sharing!

    • Shan
      March 10, 2015 / 7:58 pm

      Thank you Wendy and Welcome!

  2. David Ryan
    March 4, 2015 / 11:48 am

    I know, right? Too much clutter it’s annoying.

  3. Sasha
    September 13, 2015 / 12:25 pm

    Love this! I needed to read this right now! We are starting a major declutter! Sharing!

    • Shan
      September 22, 2015 / 8:01 pm

      Thanks, Sasha. I know I need all the help I can get to keep the clutter organized. It makes such a difference in my mood when things are not clutter-y!


  4. annette @ a net in time
    September 13, 2015 / 1:40 pm

    all these posts I’m reading on decluttering… what we store in closets I think is the hardest to sort through. What memories do we really want to keep? It’s hard to sort it through sometimes.

    • Shan
      September 22, 2015 / 8:03 pm

      Yes, Annette, you are right. I’ve found that the “difference” happens when we push through and organize all the stuff we’ve pulled out as we declutter. I know that can be very overwhelming so I have found that decluttering TINY areas at a time and completing them before moving on is key.


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