Purging: How to Purge Your Home


By: Trish 

When it comes to thoughts of purging the contents of your home for a move or a fresh start, it brings up some very emotional thoughts and a lot of trepidation.  As a real estate agent and a certified stager, I guide my clients in this process all the time but it is a very difficult task and as easy as I make it seem, doing it myself is very difficult.

But it is a process and taking it small pieces is the best approach. 

My best advice is to go room by room and apply the steps I list below to each room.  This works well because it keeps you focused on one room at a time.  Shut the door if you have to.  When you picture it this way and start it this way, it is seems simpler, clearer and much less overwhelming.  Once a room is done, you check it off and move on to the next. 

So here is how I start:


1.     Get some boxes, bags, or large plastic bins for sorting items.  Get some post-it notes, a sharpie and some heavy-duty trash bags too.

2.     Remove everything from all cabinets, drawers, closets, dressers, shelves.  Place the contents in a central location in the room.

3.     Sort everything into the following categories:  Keep, trash or recycle, donate, sell. For the items you are contemplating keeping:  have you used it/worn it in the last six months to a year? Will you use it? Is it past an expiration date? Does it belong in this room?

4.     Take the trash and recycling out of the room as you fill bags.

5.     Take “sell” boxes to a designated storage space in your house. Write the date you decluttered the items on the boxes. If you haven’t sold these items within 3 months, donate.

6.     Take “donate” boxes and bags to a donation facility immediately at the end of the day.

7.     For things that belong in another room, take them to the room where they belong.

For things that you are keeping in the room you are decluttering, put them away when you have finished sorting.

I also recommend you set aside a couple of weekends or specific days to get this task done.  For instance, if you have a 9-room house to tackle, try three rooms a weekend.  This will also make the task much less daunting.  Keep a calendar or chart to make yourself accountable.  At the end of the time you have allotted, look back and see just how much you have accomplished!