Define what is rubbish to you & then get Rid of it
I sort a lot of houses.  Send heaps to charity & auction houses & I am continually amazed by the obvious rubbish that I find in rooms, or that it often even ends up back in cupboards …

  • I wonder why it never got to the rubbish bin?Hoarding
  • It is left in corners of rooms or left in rubbish bags or bins that get covered by other piles.
  • I see shoes that are so old they have melted and joined together!
  • Plastic bags that with one touch turn into plastic confetti!
  • Toiletries and food that are so out-of-date

In our attempts to recycle and find homes for what we don’t want, I come across so many people who are confused about what is simply rubbish.  Yes, I want to recycle as much as possible and each week I donate carloads on behalf of clients to charities, but when a house is full of stuff, a percentage of it will just be rubbish! 
So, if you are having trouble decluttering and your stuff piles in rooms continues to grow, a good place to start maybe as simple as defining what rubbish is to you and then getting rid of it.

  • Make a simple list that defines what you consider is rubbish
  • Anything out of date or code
  • Anything broken, smelly, dirty, e.g. old pillows, shoes, mugs, old yellowed paperback books, old linen ….
  • Add to the list
  • Revisit the list if you get confused

For those who have a loved one who needs help, we often focus on what we think should be done.  Instead focus on simple ways to help them to make small changes, and one small way to to help them clarify what is rubbish.  Remember you are a facilitator not a decision maker, it is their home not yours.  Some people as they get older find it physically tiring to empty their inside bins and simply carrying it out for them or down the stairs or taking the heavy bin to the curb is what would really help …
I have worked with several older clients who have lived on the third or fourth level of apartment blocks (with no lifts).  I can see that over time they found it too difficult to get the rubbish bags down the stairs to the bins!
If you are helping a loved one deal with extreme clutter, ensure there is a bin in each room/area, confirm with them what they consider rubbish and then help them by emptying the bin.  The decisions about what can go is still theirs, all you need to do is help them take the trash out ….  it may not feel exciting or challenging for you, but it is a start … 
Take care …

Mary J Harnan BBus
3a home sorting specialist | Aging Specialist, ICD  |  CD Specialist, ICD  |  Hoarding Specialist, ICD  
Based in Balwyn North, Vic, I have sorted 100’s of homes & helped 100’s of senior adults & their families.   I regularly speak about 3a decluttering & smart downsizing.

If you have an inquiry about decluttering assistance, please call me or contact me via my contact page (as I will respond quicker than via a blog comment)