If you have no clutter in your life, move along — this post is not for you. (Well, perhaps you could leave us your tips in the comments.) For the rest of us, it’s the perfect time for decluttering.

I read a story recently from a couple of guys called “The Minimalists.” They had this 20/20 hypothesis about the countless items we keep around “just in case” — that nearly any of these items could be replaced for less than $20 within 20 minutes of wherever we are. Same with packing for travel.

So far, they have found their theory to be true 100 percent of the time.

The Freedom

Imagine the freedom of not having dozens (or hundreds) of “just in case” items lying around. Books — just in case you want to re-read them. Buttons — just in case one falls off the shirt you just bought. Toddler toys — just in case a toddler stops by your house, even though your kids are now teenagers.

Imagine not packing the shampoo — just in case the hotel doesn’t provide it. Or the rain poncho — just in case it rains. Or the fourth pair of shoes — just in case you stumble upon a fancy dinner.

silver utensils in drawer

What If…

What if we only kept what we really used?

Our ancestors did it. They had no choice. They were lucky to own a book or two, a decent pair of shoes and two or three outfits. And chances are, they appreciated those items more than we appreciate nearly anything we own these days.

How many things do we buy simply because they’re on sale? Or because we saw an ad online?

Look… There’s something to be said for freshening things up from time to time. We work and make money for a reason. If you want new bathroom rugs and can afford them, by all means, buy the rugs. But… throw the old ones out — don’t keep them “just in case.”

Click here to listen to a City Mom Collective “Just Add Sprinkles” podcast, featuring expert Emily Ley, founder of Simplified®, a best-selling brand of planners and organizational tools for busy women.

Tips from Other Moms

I’m no expert on decluttering, so I’ve enlisted help from other smart moms from coast to coast. Here five quick reads with some of their best tips to help all of us streamline our lives. 

1. Want to start small? How about decluttering a closet? Here is a step-by-step guide from St. Louis Mom


2. Need help with the nuts and bolts of scheduling your decluttering? This one by Fargo Mom is for you. 

Simple Tips for Decluttering Your Life

3. You’re busy. Decluttering sounds overwhelming. Orlando Mom Collective breaks it down into bite-sized chunks. 

9 Ways to Declutter Your Home as a Busy Working Mother