Yes, You Absolutely Can Let Go of Clutter and Still Keep What Matters Most — Here’s How

published Jan 26, 2023
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Apartment Therapy’s January Cure is a free 20-day program that’ll help you reset your home for the year ahead. Sign up here and get all assignments delivered to your inbox.

Earlier in the January Cure, we asked you to kick off a living room reset — taking away moveable pieces, like decor, magazines, books, and more, to give it a “blank slate.” (And If you haven’t done the first part yet, let this be your moment to get things going. See here for part one and then come back to this one in two weeks.)

Now, we’re going to do the second part of this living room reset: bringing stuff back in, followed by emptying our outbox. 

Day 19: Reset your living room and empty the outbox

By now, you might be missing some design pieces that you put away or maybe you’ve decided that you actually want to head in a totally different direction, whether it’s moving some items to another part of your home or getting rid of them altogether. 

Whatever you decide, head to your temporary storage space and grab those items, one by one. Put the must-have items back in their place, relocate the pieces you want to move to a new home, and for the pieces that you just don’t want anymore, put them in your outbox (more on that soon!). 

I hope you feel good about putting back your pieces intentionally. Now, let’s get to that outbox. 

So far, you’ve been getting in touch with why and what you accumulate and filling up your outboxes with things you no longer need, use, and/or love. Today, let’s figure out what to do with these items. You can give them away to someone you know, post them online in your local Buy Nothing group on Facebook, or donate them.

Our guest cure-ator Christine Platt coached us through the January Cure outbox setup and she shared some great insight about understanding clutter. Something she said that really resonated with me was how we can be more intentional about the way we donate our things. “Be intentional about your donations so that they don’t end up in a landfill or end up overburdening an organization,” says Platt. She encourages you to look at your local organizations that have very specific charitable needs. For instance, there’s Dress for Success and Soles 4 Souls to start. 

PRO TIP: Create a plan of action to get your outbox empty by a set date. Put appointments on your calendar to make donations, list items, and meet with friends for an item swap. If you don’t have a car, make it a road trip with friends to declutter together. You can send things away — For Days has an awesome program — or an organization can come to you! Many of them have scheduled pickup days for different communities. Here’s a list of 13 lesser-known places to donate to.

How’s your living room looking? Let us know in the comments below.

More ways to participate in the January Cure:

The Cure Program is a tradition here at Apartment Therapy — it happens every January, April, and September. Click here to learn more about the year-round program and when to sign up.