Decluttering Tip: Stop Putting Things Away

Laundry basket copy

When I am tidying up our house, folding laundry or emptying the dishwasher, I am considering every item that I touch. Why put away something we don’t need or want when I could easily skip that step and place it directly in the donation bag?

When I tell clients that I purge roughly one bag of stuff per week, they always wonder how I did it so easily and also where the items came from. I’m not usually digging into the backs of closets and drawers. Instead, I am assessing each item I come into contact with by chance and evaluating its presence in our home. Just like we casually examine a piece of fruit before eating it, I casually gauge the items in our lives before putting them away.

This split-second decision becomes second nature with enough practice. I promise I don’t hem and haw over each thing—that would be exhausting! This is quick and painless, and it completely avoids the time-consuming experience of a full-on decluttering session. If you can get into the habit, I think you might find it as effective as I do.

p.s. This applies to broken/ruined items too. These should go directly into the garbage. Putting away these sorts of things is nuts, but we’ve all done it. Break the cycle!


  1. We are in the process of moving so I am looking at everything and choosing not to pack a lot of the things we don’t need or use. Do you have any suggestions for what to do with household items that I want to let go of? What do you do with the bag of stuff that you purge?


    1. Hi Anna!
      What a great time to declutter—moving is the perfect opportunity! 80% of the stuff we purge gets donated to Goodwill. There is a drop off location just a few miles from my house, and I am a very regular customer :) For the remainder, roughly 10% is consigned, 5% is sold on Craigslist and 5% is given to a family or friend who needs it. Good luck!


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