A question I’ve gotten a lot during this declutter challenge is “What do I do with the stuff left in the Relocate bin?”
That is a great question, because the answer to this question holds so much power to really transforming how you think about stuff and clutter.
During decluttering, you sort stuff into different places. As you declutter, you go through each item in your designated area. You decide to do one of these things with it:
- KEEP – The item should stay in the room.
- GET RID OF IT – The item goes to the trash, recycling, or you sell/ donate.
- RELOCATE – You want to keep the item, but it doesn’t belong in the current space.
It’s kind of obvious what to do with keep and get rid of items, but what do you do with the relocate stuff?
When I wrote the original how to declutter post, I pictured using the relocate bin the way I always had for myself and for clients. Stuff sometimes wanders around our houses and ends up in the wrong place. We find these things as we declutter and instead of just leaving it in the wrong place, we put them back where they go.
In this ideal, we carry around the relocate bin around the house, putting things away. Relocate items should be easy to put back. We should know exactly where the item goes or at least what room it goes in.
It is clear to me, however, that this is not how some people are using the relocate bin. They are using it as another chance to procrastinate tough decisions. This may be hard to hear, but you need to hear it: If something doesn’t have a place to go in your home, it doesn’t belong in your home.
Stop piling up stuff for the future, stuff you want because you want it. Think realistically about your home and the space you have, then make those tough decisions to let the hard things go. If you have items left in the relocate bin, they probably ended up in the wrong pile. Let go of them too.
This may not have been the answer you were looking for, but it is probably the answer you need to hear. Break the cycle and change how you think about your stuff.
From my home to yours,
Toni Lemley says
Excellent advice and encouragement! I am not a minimalist, but I definitely want fewer items to deal with. As my season of life no longer includes little ones and showers of all kinds (wedding, baby, anniversaries), I need those related things to leave my home. It’s hard to let go of those good times, but your advice helps me refocus on the importance of an old adage: “a place for everything and everything in its place.” It may be there is no room in my house for the “relocate” items.
Sounds like you feel inspired to get some good decluttering done! You’ve got this!