Oduplicateitemsne of the hardest parts of getting organized is deciding what you should keep and what you should throw away.  After all, no one wants to discover they need something a month after getting rid of it.  However, we also don’t want to live in a house full of clutter.

Part of being organized is being objective about what you really need (and use), and what you can toss to the curb.  We’ve outlined some common sources of household clutter, and ways you can decide whether or not you should keep it or toss it, should you run across these items in your own home.  Read on to learn how to decide what to keep and what to throw away when it comes to organizing your home.



Despite living in the digital age, we’ve still got plenty of paper lying around.  You don’t want to throw something out that you’ll need later, but at the same time, piles of statements, warranties and other forgotten items can add to a cluttered room.  While you’ll definitely want to keep physical copies of documents relating to state or federal matters, and your personal assets, you may be able to ditch the paper for electronic versions of various statements, pay stubs, and the like.

If you’re drowning in documents, Apartment Therapy has a great blog post about what you should keep and what to throw away when it comes to your piles of paper.




Sometimes friends and family buy us gifts that we’ll use for years – and other times, the gift simply misses the mark.  Be honest about whether or not you’re going to use the item, and if it’s something you can’t make room for it’s ok to exchange it, or find it a new home.  It can be hard to give away presents, because it can feel like we’re giving away the person.  However, that’s not the case.  Remind yourself it’s just an object.



Unidentified Electronic Cords

With so many gadgets in the house – both old and new – it’s easy to end up with a box or drawer filled with seemingly random cords and chargers.  If you’re not sure what device a cord is attached to, give it 30-days.  If you still don’t use it and they’re still a mystery a month later,  it’s time to ditch ‘em.



Homeownership Extras

We don’t know how it happens, but over time certain items you have in your house can multiply.  When you’re doing your spring-cleaning, take inventory of what you’ve got in your cupboards.  If you find that you have enough vases to open your own flower shop, or coffee mugs to supply a small diner, it’s likely time to get rid of a few.



Sentimental Stuff

If you really love it, keep it.  Things that really mean a lot to you and make you smile don’t count as clutter.  However, it’s good to keep in mind that the more memorabilia you keep – the less emotionally valuable each individual items becomes.  Instead of saving every single card your beloved grandmother ever sent, pick the one or two that really capture her spirit.  That way you’re saving precious memories, and a little space, too.

Something You’d Buy Again

If you’re really stuck on whether or not you should keep that black dress another season, ask yourself if you’d purchase it again today if you saw it in a store.  This is a really good test to help you to be objective about the items you already have – and ultimately decide whether you should keep it or toss it.  If you decide you would buy it today, it deserves a place in your home.  If not, it’s time to move on.



Deciding what to keep and what to throw away can be one of the toughest parts of getting organized.  However, if you’re honest with yourself about what you can get rid of, you’ll likely be pleased with the results.