How to Throw Things Away

apartment-cleaningOkay, let’s get something straight right at the beginning. This is not a blog post about how to store your stuff more efficiently. This is all about having less stuff. That’s right, it’s about throwing stuff away.

Part of minimalism, which I’ve been exploring in my own life these last few months, is living with less. This doesn’t mean building more shelving or uber-organizing my books. It means LIVING WITH LESS.

A simple concept with life-changing implications and many questions, the biggest of which is, how do you even begin to get rid of all your stuff?

Frankly, you have to face your mountain of clutter and be ruthless.

Jacket1For instance, in the book, Simplify Your Space by Marcia Ramsland, she recommends the following tools to simplify your bedroom: a wastebasket, a recycling bin, and three boxes. One box is for things to keep. The other two boxes are for items to donate Jacket2and sell. In  For Packrats Only by Don Aslett, he outlines four steps to follow to ditch the junk.

  • Recognize that junk is bad.
  • Repent (Admit that your junk is hurting you, your energy, your bank account, and your relationships.)
  • Remove the junk. Yes, perform the physical act of throwing things away.
  • Refrain from bringing new junk into your life.

Get the picture?

Fortunately, there are dozens of titles that can help you on your way to a clutter-free life. These books outline plans of action, suggest tips for helping you decide what to keep and what to get rid of, and advice on how to deal with the emotional side of throwing things away. My favorites are listed below.

Personally, I found getting rid of stuff liberating, although, to be honest, so far my family is not quite on board yet. Stay tuned for the further adventures of a hopeful minimalist.

50 thingsThrow Out Fifty Things : Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life by Gail Blanke

Never Too Busy to Cure Clutter : Simplify Your Life One Minute at a Time  by Erin Rooney Doland

The Ultimate Guide to Clearing Your Clutter : Liberate Your Space, Clear Your Mind, and Bring in Success by Mary Lambert

Jacket.aspxThe Complete Idiot’s Guide to Decluttering by  Regina Leeds

The 100 Thing Challenge : How I Got Rid of Almost Everything, Remade My Life, and Regained My Soul by Dave Bruno

Clutter Control: Putting Your Home on a Diet by Jeff Campbell

Downloadable Audiobooks

Stop Clutter from Stealing Your Life : Discover Why You Clutter and How You Can Stop by Mike Nelson


Winning the Clutter War by Sandra Felton

Conquering Clutter : Getting To The Bottom Of Clutter by Megan Francis

Decluttering Secrets : Tips And Tricks To Becoming Organized by Sally Munroe