Preventing Clutter with Pre-Made Decisions: I Don’t Keep Holey Socks!

Preventing Clutter with Pre-Made Decisions I Don’t Keep Holey Socks! at

As someone who has decluttered ridiculous amounts of stuff from her home, I love (like totally love) making single decisions that prevent me from having to make lots of little decisions in the future.

When holey socks come through the wash, I throw them away. No questions asked. I used to judge the severity of the holes and/or dream about being the world’s greatest homemaker and darning them.

A hole is a hole, y’all. And let’s be honest, I’m never going to darn a sock.

I made this pre-made decision a few years ago when another mother warned me she’d heard the kids would be doing something shoeless in P.E. the next day so she’d been checking for holes in her own kids’ socks.

That’s enough to send panic into my Slob Heart. As I checked my kids’ socks, I was appalled. I was also appalled at their lack of concern about little piggies sticking out in their P.E. class the next day.

The holey socks had to go. And all future holey pairs as well.

Preventing Clutter with Pre-Made Decisions I Don’t Keep Holey Socks! 2 at

Oh, and let’s all pretend this picture was taken before the sock went into the wash so the stains would have been TOTALLY gone had it been washed.

And if we’re going to pretend that, let’s also pretend I took a shower after I took this picture.

Do you darn? Is it hard?


I’ve pre-made other decisions to keep clutter out of my house. Check them out, and tell me what decisions you’ve made.

Used Gift Cards

Tissue Paper for Gift Bags

“Free” kids’ cups.


Note: Does holey seem like a real word to you? It didn’t to me, but it is according to the internet! (And we all know everything you read on the internet is true, right?)

Preventing Clutter with Pre-Made Decisions I Don’t Keep Holey Socks! pin at


I Suppose That Could Be Useful . . .

I suppose that could be useful at

I moved this strange-looking object three of four times, from random place to random place, before I stopped to examine it.

I officially have absolutely no idea where it came from, but thankfully I didn’t have to wonder what it was.

Identifying Weird Clutter! at

According to the information printed on the item itself, it’s a Shampoo Massage Brush.

Oooohhhh. OK.

Yeah. That actually doesn’t help at all.

But somehow, even though I’d hesitated to declutter it before because I didn’t know what it was (so who knows if we desperately need it?!?!), knowing what it was also made me briefly wonder if we should keep it.


Because then I realized I’ve made it through the last 42 years using only two, not-even-labeled hands for this purpose. And I’ve survived.

With hair that’s almost always clean.

And then, as I wrote this post, with the thingamajig long gone, I realized that perhaps it’s for massaging shampoo into carpet?

And I felt that pang of Decluttering Regret.

Until I realized that I’ve also made it 42 years without needing a carpet shampoo massaging brush either.

I guess I’ll survive.

I Suppose That Could Be Useful pin at


Decluttering Momentum in Action

 Decluttering Momentum in Action at
Quite a while ago, I received a quick note from one of you sharing your success cleaning out your closet. I had every intention of posting it as a reader story, but I’m glad (for once) that I didn’t get it done right away. I received another message recently, with details of an even bigger decluttering success story.
This is a great example of how decluttering momentum works.
Declutter non-emotional stuff first. Deal with the things that obviously need to be dealt with but don’t cause emotional pain. Experiencing this success and the joy of living with less gives momentum and will eventually bring you to the point where you can tackle overwhelming, emotionally difficult clutter.
The first email:
Reader Closet Declutter at


I want to share my closet. I am super proud!! I have recently lost some weight, and much of what I have doesn’t fit. Or fits oddly. I saw a 40 hanger challenge on another blogger’s page, and after some thought, decided to give it a whirl. I used much of what I learned here, and started yanking stuff out. My husband came in, looked at what I was doing and started to say something. I made the sound you make when the dog is getting ready to pee on the rug. He turned around and quickly left! Lol! After my purge, I had used TWENTY FOUR HANGERS!!

Granted, I have folded stuff, but it *all* fits. I can *see* it, I will wear it without fear of ruining it. If I don’t wear it, it will hang there till it won’t fit, or is out of style!! I honestly couldn’t be more happy right now!!

Much love and thank you for all the inspiration!! I am deslobbing myself!!

BTW, I purged over 150 items of clothing!! And more than 10 pairs of shoes!

The second email, months later:

Reader Storage Declutter at


Hello again! I wanted to share another breakthrough for me that YOU are responsible for.
I have started to tackle a corner of my basement that has boxes I have had since I was 19 years old. I will be turning 40 in February, so I have moved this crap from house to house more times than I can count.
I would open a box and throw a few items away, get overwhelmed because it was a box of papers and photos. I forced myself to go through them. I found stuff I didn’t even know I had.
I looked at my parents’ nasty custody papers over me, and the memories flooded over me.
I cried. A lot.
I then gathered all those papers, and took them to the wood stove, and burned them. A million pounds were lifted off my shoulders. I released all the old anger and hurt in that fire. It was good. I reminded myself, I’m not other people’s memory keepers.
I also burned some old photos of past relationships (friends and lovers). I did break a rule you have suggested… I went out and got 4 plastic totes. I have my family memorabilia in probably 6 totes that stack together to form a dangerous teetering tower of plastic and paper.
I am giving each person ONE new tote. After that new tote is filled, that’s it. No more. The emptied totes will house something else… or be turned into recycling bins…. but the goal is to get all those little things into that smaller space.
I am reclaiming my house, one step at a time, and you have helped me along the way… in more ways than you know <smile>
Thank you,
Melody S.
 And her P.S. . . .
Of all those boxes that I cleaned out so far? I took an entire mini van of crap to the dump. I even told my husband if he sees something he thinks I didn’t mean to throw away, to just throw it away. I know what’s in the boxes that’s going, and I promise it’s supposed to be there. He gave me a pat on the back, and cheered me on.
I love this so much. All of it. Gaining Decluttering Momentum (starting with non-emotional stuff like clothes and later tackling the tough stuff like custody papers) is possible. - From Our Mailbox
Decluttering Momentum in Action pin at

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