Radical Clutter Solutions

When your clutter threatens to run you out of house and home, you need some radical solutions.  We’re not talking drawer organizers and shelving here, you need major intervention.

First and foremost, don’t let it get to this point.  Use storage wisely and keep what you need and store it properly.  For those items you don’t need, get rid of them, or – even better – don’t acquire them in the first place.

Unfortunately, many times we have no choice.  As we get older and family members move to smaller homes or pass away, their stuff becomes your stuff.  Most people don’t have the heart to part with these items, and many of the items they didn’t need or want in the first place, but couldn’t bear to see it go in the trash or sold.

These situations, along with buying sprees and packratting, can lead to a clutter and crowding issue that could have you considering a larger home.  Many take an interim step and rent a storage unit.  Don’t do it – you’ll leave the items in there, paying rent for years, for things you have no use for. 

Try one of these major clutter-busters, along with more traditional home storage solutions, to clear a path in your home.

Estate Sales

You don’t have to be dead to have an estate sale.  You also don’t need to have people in your home to have one, but it’s easier so items don’t have to be moved.  Consider hiring a professional to help you hold an estate sale.  You can either rope off part of the home or even have it out front – a tent could be an option to avoid weather issues, or set a rain date.

People take estate sales more seriously than yard sales.  They tend to pay better prices rather than the $5 side table or $10 couch.  You also have a professional to help you set prices, someone who knows the market and knows what’s selling and for how much.  They can also pick out any valuable items and there’s less of a chance of a treasure being priced as trash. 

Professional estate sales are usually run by someone who has experience in antiques and they normally are paid a percentage of the proceeds of the sale.


Auction houses are a good solution for overcrowding in the home.  When my mother-in-law moved to a small one bedroom home from a farmhouse, she took what she needed and had an auction company come in to deal with the rest and hold an onsite auction.  She ended up making several thousand dollars and saved everyone in the family time and backaches from having to deal with junk she didn’t need. 

Auction houses also take consignments for auctions held at their location.  Some will only take quality, undamaged merchandise, and some will take anything.  Research local auction houses and attend a sale before considering the consignment.  Another good source is local antique dealers, they’ll know the good auction houses and will usually be happy to give you an opinion.

Bottom Line

Try not to let your clutter and furnishings overwhelm you.  Use restraint and proper household storage to keep it in check.  If it gets too out of hand, you may need to resort to an estate sale or auction.