My Lazy Decluttering Method

My Lazy Decluttering Method

I’m not a fan of prescriptive methods and ideas. Mostly because I think it forces you to fit into someone else’s plan rather than do what works for you, and I think that generally leads to a worse outcome. Or, you know, giving up. Keep in mind, I also don’t use recipes to cook, and the same reason I call bullshit on blogging “formulas”, so I guess I just don’t like following rules. That’s not too surprising to me 🙂


If you have issues throwing things out, for whatever reason, this is what I found helped me. And it requires little effort. Hence:


My Lazy Decluttering Method


My Lazy Decluttering Method


Step 1: Storage

Grab a suitcase. Or a storage box. Or a granny bag (those striped large bags that in my mind are only sold at Crazy Clarks, I have no idea what they are legitimately called as that is the only name I know them by). The key is grabbing something that you can’t see through. Mine are suitcases because I already own them and have a place to store them (on top of my free standing wardrobe). I believe the key to this stuff is working with what you have. Don’t go buy something new unless you literally have nothing that would work.


Step 2: Stuff

Get your stuff. The stuff you’re theoretically decluttering. When you are too attached to make a call right now, stick it in the suitcase. Don’t stress yourself into making the keep/throw call right now.


Want to see the masses of stuff I threw out a few years ago? You can, here!


Step 3: Ignore

Yep. Ignore the stuff you couldn’t quite part with. I put my suitcase back on top of the wardrobe and don’t look at it or think about it.


Step 4: Zen

Whenever I next feel the need to declutter, I start with the suitcase from last time. It might be a week later or three months later. Whenever I decide to. (Unless you’re moving house or need the suitcase or something, I see no need to set a time limit and put pressure on yourself with this stuff. There are enough pressures in life, don’t create a new one if you don’t need to.) I find that because the items have been out of sight for weeks or months, I’m much less attached to them. I can throw out that told skirt that looked super hot on me when I weighed 20kgs less. I don’t care for that knick-knack I bought at a garage sale because I thought it was cool, only to remember that I actually don’t like gifts and miscellaneous crap sitting on shelves going dusty because who the hell wants to clean them?


There you have it. My set and forget, lazy decluttering method.


Do you find we have too many rules over things that don’t need rules? Would ignoring the ‘stuff’ you’re decluttering until you feel less attached to it work for you?


27 Replies to “My Lazy Decluttering Method”

  1. I reckon just about anybody could manage your method! I’m pretty good at chucking stuff, but my kids are terrible at it! I think I’m going to suggest they give a whirl.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      That’s why I love simple! I do get emotionally attached to things and don’t want to throw them out, but out of sight, out of mind is very powerful! I cleared out three bags of clothes on the weekend (waiting to be taken to an op shop) and now only have one carry on size suitcase of “hmm, couldn’t part with it”.

  2. I am a chucker! About every 12 months I just go from room to room throwing stuff out. Feels great!!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I’m getting better at throwing, but the inbetween time to detach emotionally is still very much needed for me.

    2. I am the same Nicole!

  3. I do a throw it in the back of the cupboard or put it in a shopping bag with clothes…and then after a time, I look at them again and think ‘nope won’t wear it again’ or ‘yep, might wear again’ and then add to a bag I take to local op shop. It is also a great time to declutter when you move. I thought I did it well 3 years ago. We have moved once since then and didn’t declutter at all. However, since a move from here will be on the cards early 2018 (to another rental) we might do a bigger cull because some stuff has not been used for 3 years. Kitchen things are mostly in that category as I no longer cook much for the family as I did when we lived in Sydney.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Moving is a great time to do it – even if only because you’ll spend less time carting boxes when moving. I’ve always kept my kitchen stuff small – I’m not a fan of appliances and we keep only a few forks and knives etc.

  4. I like the sound of that. I am pretty good at decluttering, and then low and behold I want something that I probably should not have thrown out because I do go a bit crazy when I am in the mode and so much gets trashed.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Ah so you’re an extreme declutterer 🙂 This might help then – make a maybe suitcase!

  5. Ooooh this stuff speaks to my heart. I LOVE a good de-cluttering. So cleansing. LOL!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I like this one because it feels like firstly it’s later Vanessa’s problem, but at the last stage, earlier Vanessa did all the hard work.

  6. I’m about to embark a declutter of my kitchen cupboards. There’s some stuff in there that hasn’t seen the light of day for at least a year!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I’ve never been too big on kitchen stuff but ours also needs a clear out!

  7. I’ve been decluttering like a boss since I started listening to The Minimalists. I like that they don’t have rules, just lots of strategies or “ingredients” that you can pick and choose for your own “minimalism recipe.” I love the idea of the suitcase, it’s that theory that if you haven’t used/worn/missed x or y for however many days, you can probably live without it. I’m constantly finding new stuff to throw out and the less stuff we have, the more organised I become. Win, win!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Oh that is a positive – I get put off a lot of things when they become popular as it sometimes seems everyone does things on a formula, not what works for them. That’s a really god positive about The Minimalists. I might have to give them a try!

  8. I do this with clothes – only I have a big bottom drawer!!! It really does help to “divorce” me from an item so I can get rid of it gleefully 🙂

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Oh that’s also really good – if you have a spare drawer. Great tip.

  9. This is pretty much my method of dealing with all the kids crap (I mean precious toys). 😉

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Haha crap, toys…fine line 🙂

  10. I’m decluttering next week. My house looks like a bomb has hit it because we’ve been painting my eldest daughter’s room and all her stuff is everywhere!!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      How did the declutter go?

  11. your method definitely works with detaching yourself from the items – also helps see if you really need or use something. i did this with the kitchen years ago and put all the gadgets i thought could go in a box. if they were still there 6 months later i chucked them into the donation bin.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      It really does help – I’ve found that since doing this it’s easier to throw things out, not just what has been in the suitcase, but also I can throw some things out straight away now.

  12. Out of sight, out of mind – a perfect method!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      It really helps me!

  13. I adore a good declutter!! Lazy or thorough – I’m in!!! #teamIBOT

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Hope it helps you next time you declutter 🙂

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