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  • Writer's pictureJohn Lim

MF 445 : Decluttering series: purging paper piles and clothing clutter

Updated: Oct 28

Today, I continue my decluttering journey with magazines, receipts, and outdated files, and purging clothing clutter. More at ⁠⁠⁠⁠.

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Decluttering series

Purging the paper piles

For me, paper is one of the most daunting and overwhelming categories to declutter. After purging the piles of fluttering paper, I decided to tackle magazines, newsletters and newspapers that I had accumulated over the years. I kept most of these out of a bad combination of misplaced sentimentality, particularly with alumni magazines, and a nagging "I may get to this one day" sensibility. I pulled out several boxes of magazines that had accumulated in several boxes and over the course of several weeks in August, went through and purged most of it. I did end up keeping a few that are now rare collectibles and will try to sell them once I've finished the major decluttering.

With respect to documents, including files, statements, and receipts, I went through the same process. I purged whatever was outdated or no longer relevant, digitized what wasn't necessary to keep in its original form and organized what I needed to keep. I'm about 40-50% complete with paper decluttering and I anticipate this will take longer into 2024.

Purging clothing clutter

I'm a pretty simple guy when it comes to my wardrobe but had done a bad job of purging out of date clothes over the years, especially suits. I gathered these up and donated these over the course of 4-5 different donation pickups with two organizations: the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) and the Purple Heart Foundation (PH). I also purged a lot of shirts, slacks, jackets, and misc clothing. I also got rid of over 40 pairs of shoes, most of which I hadn't worn in years, dropping those off into a donation drop box.

By late September, my wardrobe had been slimmed down to just the clothes I wear, 4-5 newer suits for special occasions and 5 pairs of shoes.

By early October, I had completed another significant step forward in my decluttering journey.

Decluttering tip

When it comes to magazines, if you haven't read it in a week or two, chances are you won't. Recycle or toss. If you find older magazines that may be rare collectibles, consider selling on sites like eBay.

With important papers, shred any that are no longer relevant or are outdated. When it comes to receipts, keep in a separate envelope and keep only as long as you need, then shred. Finally, with papers you need to keep, digitize the ones that don't require you to keep the originals, and organize the ones you do need in bankers or other document boxes; subdividing with hanging file folders.

With clothing, put everything into a pile and go through each piece. If you no longer wear it, sell on Poshmark or donate.

Decluttering resources

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