Conscious Decluttering

by Katy on October 17, 2019 · 6 comments

The following is a reprint of a previously published post from 2014. Enjoy! 

Like Gwyneth and Chris’ conscious uncoupling, I am in the midst of my own conscious decluttering. Conscious because I am on a rabid quest to get rid our house of anything that’s neither useful nor appreciated, but also because I’m very deliberate about where we send our unwanted belongings.

Today’s donations perfectly demonstrate my insanity efforts.

See this photo? There are three bags of stuff here, plus a laundry basket of yup . . . more stuff. (Don’t let yourself be intimidated by my impressive Pinterest-worthy photo skills.)

Decluttered stuff

Let me break it down for you:

  • The bag on the doorknob is filled with nice stuffed animals. My husband, who is a Paramedic will give them to kids on the ambulance who need some extra comfort.

  • The laundry basket is filled with random miscellaneous stuff. This all went to Goodwill.

  • The paper bag with the white box is filled with various Japanese items that we’ve received as gifts. (Puzzles, origami paper, scarves, etc.) I took this over to the Japanese elementary school for the teachers to use in their classrooms.

  • The black bag is filled with martial arts uniforms from when my younger son took classes. The shirts are specific to the school, which is where I took everything. They accepted everything and will stack the clothes in an area for current families to take.

It would have been very easy for me to just dump everything at Goodwill, but by parceling out the donations, it’s much more likely for my unwanted stuff to get into the hands of someone who does want it.

Do you separate out your donations or are you more of a donate everything at once kind of declutterer? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Minimalsteph October 17, 2019 at 12:36 pm

I separate donations and try to give things to people who really want them. FB marketplace and Buy Nothing help a lot.


Carla October 17, 2019 at 5:26 pm

I try to separate donations, but I also find that means things will pile up for possibly months. The problem is often that I don’t know a good place to donate specific items, but I’m aware that they would be better able to find a home somewhere besides Goodwill.


cathy October 17, 2019 at 5:30 pm

I love being part of a Buy Nothing group. It’s actually more convenient for me than schlepping things to the thrift store. But I do separate donations. Uniform color-appropriate clothing my son has outgrown goes to his former grade school. (The school maintains a clothing closet because there are always kids who need a change of clothes for one reason or another.) We also sell more valuable or desirable items through NextDoor, eBay, and a local Craigslist-type classified.


Bethany M October 18, 2019 at 11:44 am

I try to give things to those that could use them and then everything else ends up in the church rummage sale with proceeds sending kids to camp.


Katy October 22, 2019 at 3:09 pm

Republishing this post makes me realize that it’s time for another round of decluttering!


Texasilver October 23, 2019 at 11:21 am

I separate items. I have a pile of things for the Humane Society (old towels, pet bed, pet carrier, etc.). I send clothing & toiletries from hotel stays to my church’s clothes closet. All else goes to Goodwill.
A few times a year I will take a load of men’s clothing to the VA Hospital near me. But it is 60 miles away so I don’t donate as frequently to that location. The VA will accept clothes that are not flawless. If they are not acceptable at Goodwill then I will take to the VA. (I do use some discretion. I don’t take rags to the VA Hospital & expect the men to wear them.)


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