Stuff. It’s everywhere.

You have stuff you don’t use or need, and even stuff you forget you have.

Most of us have so much stuff that going through our garage is like shopping at a thrift store. All of the “oh yeah, I forgot about that!” and the “when did we buy this?”…you may even find that you’ve bought stuff that you didn’t even realize you already had.

The point is, you need to get rid of some stuff. Sell, donate, trash, or whatever…you need to declutter.

That’s why you’re here.

Here’s a great method I’ve been using to get rid of 323 items over the last couple months…

What’s a Junk Snowball?

A junk snowball is like the debt snowball. It emphasizes small wins in the beginning to keep you motivated.

All you have to do is set a number of things to get rid of and get to it. Here’s a few pointers:

  • Set an amount of items – I’m personally going by the popular “year method”, where you get rid of the same amount of things as the year you’re in, so for this year, I’ll be getting rid of 2,015 things; however, I started late, so I have quite the challenge on my hands. Challenge accepted.
  • Start with the small stuff – CDs, DVDs, books, clothes. Whatever you have a lot of that you need to get rid of, start there. I’m selling my entire CD collection, which will equate to over 600 items after I’m finished. Eventually, you’ll run out of small stuff and have no choice but to work on the bigger items, but you’ll have donated hundreds of items by then. This is a great way to clear a lot of stuff out quickly.
  • Don’t be picky about the “how” – One thing that stops a lot of people, including me, from getting rid of old things, is the way you do it. You don’t want to donate those old books because you think you can sell them, and maybe you can, but don’t get caught up on that. If you can’t get more than $20, donate it. For example, I’m selling part of my CD collection in bulk (bulk lots that I can get over $20 for), and donating the rest.

The Memories Aren’t in the Item Itself

Part of the clutter-struggle is about emotional attachment. That’s how hoarding usually starts.

Remember this: it’s just stuff.

Stuff has absolutely no emotional value. Don’t tie your memories to your stuff – you’ll always be disappointed.

How many people have their late grandmother’s old lamp sitting in storage collecting dust? The memories you have of your grandma are what’s important. Don’t tie your memories to an old lamp. What happens when it gets broken accidentally or destroyed in a disaster? You could be devastated, but you shouldn’t be.

You see, stuff like that ends up getting in the way of what’s really important. When you attach so much emotional value to an inanimate object, you’re placing value (that isn’t there) in a thing. If your child were to accidentally break it, you may lash out at them…over a thing, an object. What’s more important, your child or a lamp? The lamp is just an example, but I hope you see where I’m going, and if you place a lot of value in things, I hope you’ll reconsider.

Decluttering is About Freedom

We park a $20,000 car in the driveway because it won’t fit in the garage, due to the $500 worth of wall-to-wall junk.

Something’s backwards here.

When you start decluttering, you’ll start to see what really matters, and you’ll start to see how silly some things you do are. You could spend the rest of your life wasting precious hours “organizing” your stuff. Or you could just get rid of it.

How much stuff do you really need?

When you declutter and reduce the amount of things you own, a few things will start to happen:

  • You’ll have a clear schedule since you don’t have to spend your weekends going through your stuff.
  • You’ll have more money since you now have free time to spend on side hustles and extra income.
  • You’ll have more discernment for future purchases so that you don’t end up in the same spot.
  • You’ll have a clear mind when you can actually find things and you know what you own.
  • You’ll have more gratefulness for the fewer amount of items that you do own.
  • You’ll be more mobile, should you decide to pack up and move.

Decluttering can even help you break bad habits. Want to stop watching so much TV? Sell all your DVDs. Heck, sell your TV!  Fine, I’ll back off a little. That may strike a nerve. But, correct me if I’m wrong, not having a TV will drastically reduce the amount of time you spend watching it, won’t it?

You can call it decluttering, minimalism or whatever, but really it’s about getting free. Getting free from consumerism, getting your time back, and taking control of your life.  While you’re at it, you might as well take control of your finances too.

How much stuff do you need to get rid of?  Do you attach emotional value to things?