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Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Feng Shui thing: 5 clearing processes for the elements: Remove what doesn't serve any purpose; remove what wastes space; remove what you no longer love or doesn't beautify you; remove what is in your way; remove what is broken or obsolete. Repeat process in each room.

Apr 23, 2016 10:12 AM
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

I keep my closets cleaned out by keeping an empty sack (at least it starts out that way) in my closet and when I come across something I have not worn or don't want to wear anymore, it goes in the sack. When it is full another empty bag replaces it and the full bag is donated.

Apr 23, 2016 02:15 PM
Mimi Foster
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

There is a great challenge called 40 Bags in 40 Days. It worked wonders for me when we were moving last summer.

Apr 23, 2016 12:14 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I have done well on this starting with my closet and dresser drawers. Over time, I have reduced everything to function

Apr 23, 2016 11:35 AM
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

I remove 1 item a day.  It gets tossed, donated, whatever as long as it is gone from my home.

Apr 23, 2016 11:17 AM
Allie Angeloni
Long Realty - Oro Valley, AZ

Being 'in the mood' is the tip for me, and this happens every few years, and I am very religious when I start, to finish!  Last year I went through clothes and drawers in the master bedroom, and a garage cabinet - got rid of 5 boxes/bags.  Probably will not do that this year, though I do have a second bedroom closet to go through Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor.  We have a small house, and I cannot 'add' anything without 'removing' something - HA!    

Apr 23, 2016 10:55 AM
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

I am not a "clutterer" so it's not a big issue for me, but when I get into a cleaning mode, it's one room at a time. 

Apr 23, 2016 09:11 PM
Erica Love
Brokers Guild Cherry Creek - Colorado Springs, CO

I LOVE getting rid of stuff. It is fun. I love garbage day and knowing that clutter is gone. Goodwill knows me when I pull up because I donate all the time. I sell the things I know are worth selling. I dislike how cheap people are and I will never have a garage sale again. I would much rather donate than do that again. One area at a time for sure. Usually starting with my girls rooms or the playroom.

I had misread this question and wrote this - leaving it because it was fun to tell! Two clients worth mentioning just for fun! - I have 2 that stand out in my mind of extreme in need of decluttering, they qualified for their own tv show episode of hoarders. Ok, maybe not that bad... maybe a show called "Almost Hoarders!" My husband and I actually took hefty bags of trash out of a townhouse I was selling because the seller wouldn't do it. Although she lived there. This was a home with bathtubs full of still water with trash floating in them kind of gross. (This was my 1st listing ever). It was disgusting, it reeked of cats. Thankfully it sold immediately due to location. The second that stands out in my mind is a home that had shelves floor to ceiling of Japanese animae figures. Wow, that was a sight to be seen! Not a free spot on a single wall in the whole condo. Consistantly awful feedback. No one could look past them. The seller loved them and refused to budge on moving them to storage or let alone out of sight. The absolute last day of our listing contract a neighbor bought it to own as a rental. Woohoo.  Happy day selling that place :)

Apr 23, 2016 12:21 PM
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

The gradual process wasn't doing it Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor I had to start getting ruthless and clearing things by the carton!  Four trips to Goodwill and counting...

Apr 23, 2016 12:14 PM
Joyce Marsh
Regal | Christie's International Real Estate - Orlando, FL
Regional Manager Regal Christie's Int'l Realty

I have found that one room at a time works best for me. Donating to charity also works better than garage sales. 

Apr 23, 2016 10:21 AM
Susan Laxson CRS
HomeSmart Professionals - La Quinta, CA
Local Knowledge & Global Network

Just finished reading "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering by Marie Kondo. She provided me the how, why and spiritual reasons for decluttering your home and how it improves your life. A good read!

Apr 24, 2016 02:41 AM
Jennifer Mackay
Counts Real Estate Group, Inc. - Panama City, FL
Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582

Oh, I need these answers!

Apr 23, 2016 09:59 PM
Carol Wilson
Your $imple Home - Toronto, ON

Hi Thomas, for me the answer to your question is "it depends".  For many years, I was absolutely hopeless at removing clutter.  I could move it from room to room, but had no idea what to keep and what could go.  This only began to clear as I healed childhood traumas and upsets.  The more I healed, the more deeply I could shed.  So if you are an incurable pack-rat, the clutter is most likely a symptom rather than the actual problem, and people like this who lose everything generally replace what they have lost with "new" clutter fairly quickly.  In other words, drastic measures may not actually help, and could be harmful.

I found I cleared my clutter in waves.  It is very freeing to let go of all the school note-books and textbooks.  It is very freeing to leave behind the photos and memorabilia of people I don't like or who were unhealthy for me, even family members.  (Not the socially accepted attitude, but I took a stand for my health and well-being, and it was worth it.  I kept one photo of each parent and they went into an attractive woven grass box of other "treasures" where I can look at them if I feel the need--but I never do.)

It is freeing to shed the clothing that I no longer fit.  If you really love it and hope to lose weight, try giving yourself six months and make it a conscious project, but know this: weight is a kind of, that is not accurate. In my observation, both weight and clutter are defenses of the mind against things that bother us.  If the real bother isn't addressed, it is very unlikely you will shed the weight or the clutter.

And then there is the partner & or child(ren) with whom we live, and they have their own contribution to the clutter.  We do our interactions with them in patterns that become predictable.  Sometimes clutter is revenge for disrespect, or simply a reflection of low self worth.  Some re-negotiation of your interactions can be very helpful.  Looking for ways to add respect can make a big difference...respect for yourself and respect for the others.

Sometimes just keeping ONE small shelf clean and free of clutter with something beautiful on it is all we can manage, but if we are doing it as a stand for our own worth, that is a statement worth making and a stand worth taking.

Apr 23, 2016 04:12 PM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

For every bag you bring into the house you take 1 and 1/2 out

Apr 23, 2016 11:26 AM
Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

      One file cabinet, chest of drawers, or closet at a time.

Apr 23, 2016 11:18 AM
Toronto, ON

Set realistic small goals and you will ultimately achieve the ultimate goal.

Apr 23, 2016 10:58 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

remove half of photos, pictures off the cluttered wall. Put less furniture away to storage... Start donating un-needed items.

I went into this house. There were chain saws in the living room. All in all she had five lawn mowers outside and in the garage. Three wheel barrels, tools... She told me her husband divorced her two years earlier. She was used to the gardener tools all her previous marriage.

Apr 23, 2016 10:47 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

A room at a time. But I need to start with my garage first...and my kids stuff we still have. Hate garage sales so any other way I can get rid of things...

Apr 23, 2016 09:48 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Ron is better than I am at it.  We regularly clean out our closets, and our offices.  I like Candice A. Donofrio Feng Shui thoughts.  A

Apr 24, 2016 09:12 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

 After 30 years of good intentions, the homeowner was still in possession of all the stuff. The pain of staying the same was not great enough.

"I think you need to move to lighten your load."  Works like a charm. "The contents of any box not opened within the year you do not need,"

There's a great agent on AR in La Jolla who can help you out. 

Apr 24, 2016 02:42 AM
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

start taking out stuff you don't use and go from there

Apr 23, 2016 11:37 PM
Marco Giancola
Beachfront Realty - Miami Beach, FL
Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida

My best tip is not to clutter it up in the first place. Candice A. Donofrio has some solid advice.

Apr 23, 2016 10:31 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I'm still working on it. But even I regularly declutter, clean, donate, trash, give away staff, a new one somehow magically appear again. As they say: build the storage and trash will come. 

Apr 23, 2016 04:18 PM
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

I have to be in a mood to do this. Then I go to town, and get stuff done. 

I'm also one of these people that does see spring as a time to renew, and the season puts me in the mood to get things done and decluttered. 

Apr 23, 2016 03:47 PM
Jan Marie McCoy
Jan McCoy Properties - Clarkston, WA
Real Estate Brokerage Wa & Idaho

One room at a time. 

Apr 23, 2016 03:17 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

As a pack-rat it is the hardest thing for me to do, usually it takes a move to do it for me. Diane secretly throws stuff away and often a couple years later I ask "where is this?" and the answer in her face tells me she threw it away:))Endre

Apr 23, 2016 02:51 PM
Melissa Jackson
Citiwide Alliance Realty - Weatherford, TX
Helping You Make The Right Move

When the mood strikes or maybe a rainy day.  One room at a time.  Usually leads to a mess in another room unless I load the unwanted items in my truck.  We have a place close to here that I drop off my stuff. 

Apr 23, 2016 02:06 PM
Diana Zaccaro
Tropical Beachside brokered by eXp - Cocoa Beach, FL
"The Accidental Blogger" Cocoa Beach, Florida

I don't do's all or nothing!


Apr 23, 2016 01:51 PM
Kathleen Luiten
Resort and Second-Home Specialist - Princeville, HI
Kauai Luxury Ocean Home Sales

Tackle one category rather than just one drawer or one room. Example, make one project decluttering ALL of your clothers. Your closet but also items you store elsewhere. 

Get rid of whatever you don't really need or that doesn't look and feel great on you now.

Apr 23, 2016 11:32 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

We take ours to the Goodwill. Last yeat we wrote off $6500 which beats the pain of a garage sale. More to come this year.


Apr 23, 2016 09:38 AM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

One at a time 

Apr 23, 2016 09:37 AM
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Start with a single room or a closet or cabinets. Sort out. Keep, trash, donate, recycle.

Oct 02, 2016 01:27 PM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

If I do not use something in a year, it goes to good will

Apr 26, 2016 12:25 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I keep mine decluttered, can't stand too much stuff hanging around.  

Apr 25, 2016 11:37 PM
Sandra Steele
Wise Choice Properties, Sedona/Verde Valley Branch - Cottonwood, AZ
Integrity, Knowledge - 37 Years of Experience!!!

Begin by removing family photos.  Kitchen counters are the next to declutter.  Have a garage sale or donate unwanted items in the garage.  I could go on and on but I know you get the message.

Apr 24, 2016 01:21 PM
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

A room at a time.  Last week I had 18 boxes of old files shredded.  Once things make their way to the garage ... it is time to donate and be done with it. I know I can sell a lot of stuff ... but I choose to donate all of it.  

Apr 24, 2016 11:10 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

When I get annoyed by the clutter, I block off a day and tackle it with a vengence.

Apr 24, 2016 06:48 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Doesn't work.  I"ve been "gradually" decluttering my house forever, and the clutter just comes back!  I think the blitz approach is the only one that really works.

Apr 24, 2016 05:53 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Don't know.  For me it's an on-going process that I'm currently losing.

Apr 24, 2016 05:52 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

The work is in progress. My closet needs some attention.

Apr 24, 2016 02:11 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

I think the concept of gradually removing clutter is likely to lead to more clutter. If someone is serious about it, they likely need professional help.  

Apr 24, 2016 12:29 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

We really aren't as paperless as we claim !

Apr 24, 2016 12:17 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

Room by room, 1 room at a time

Apr 23, 2016 11:37 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

I have been purging for 4 years.  My first commitment was to FILL my garbage can every week.  I have purged lots of clothes... donated to a church. I constantly have a donation pile going in the garage of non-clothes items.  I have sold all my big furniture and replaced it with smaller furniture, opening up my living space and it feels way less cluttered.   Lots of little things add up.

Apr 23, 2016 11:25 PM
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Geneva Financial, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

One well placed match

Apr 23, 2016 10:57 PM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

Get out of Suzanne's way!! 

Apr 23, 2016 10:53 PM
Jessie Cochran
Counts Real Estate Group, Inc. - Panama City, FL
Panama City Realty Group

I can't - I'm an impulsive buyer - soon to be a hoarder ;)

Apr 23, 2016 10:24 PM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

According to the clutter patrol, room by room. Do not leave until one room is completed before going on to another.

Sold my dad's house last year & it was torture getting him to throw anything out! When I got home from his house everyday, I would immediately start throwing stuff out in my garage, bedroom, whatever.  I did not want to get nuts like him. Clean reaction?

Apr 23, 2016 10:14 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

It is easy if we do it throughout the year. Unfortuantely we do not do it.

Apr 23, 2016 10:13 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Do as the wife and I are doing, move long distance! Once you get a quote for moving, all non-essentials you could not do without, are history!

Apr 23, 2016 10:10 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor - one room at a time and in a room, one area at a time...

Apr 23, 2016 04:35 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

On declutter days I set out larger garbage cans and donation boxes.

After walking past these a few times people will start to fill them.

Apr 23, 2016 12:38 PM
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

Knock it out, do it all at once. 

Apr 23, 2016 12:16 PM