How do you know if it's junk, Angela Brown, Savvy Cleaner

How Do You Know It’s Junk?

How do you know it’s junk when you’re decluttering and organizing your home? How do you know it’s junk if the stuff still works or is useful?

The infamous Marie Kondo in her KonMarie Method of minimalism decluttering asks “does it bring you joy?”

Joy or not, it’s clutter if you’re not using it. Get rid of junk.

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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.

How do You Know it’s Junk When You Clean?

How do you know it's junk baby strollerJunk is stuff that you no longer need, want, or use. For example, let’s say that you are cleaning out your garage and you find a baby stroller.

The baby stroller is nice, it’s in good, working condition, but your children are 10 years old. Your clients will never use that baby stroller again.

That baby stroller is not going to work for you anymore. It’s junk.

If You Want to Get Rid of Junk

How do you know it's junk NextDoor Social Neighborhood appIf you want to get rid of that and you want to give it to someone else, you can put it out at the end of your driveway. Then make a little post and put it on

Say, “Hey, any of my neighbors, if you want this free stroller, it’s at the end of my driveway. Just come pick it up“.

Then before you know it, one of your neighbors will have picked it up and the stroller is making another family happy.

You Can Donate Junk Too

How do you know it's junk box of odds and endsAll right, the next thing is, if you have stuff that you’re getting rid of, you can donate it. For example, to a thrift store.

So, if there are things in your life that you don’t use, like videotapes. That is junk. They’re not even making video machines anymore. If you have CDs and DVDs, they are on their way out.

Transfer everything over to a hard drive or to the Cloud or wherever and then just stream it. We’re done storing all that stuff, so that’s junk.

Helping Clients Who Have Too Much Junk

How do you know it's junk dozens of beltsNow, I helped a woman clean out her house, and we went through and we found a hundred belts. Over a hundred belts. A belt, that you hold up your pants with.

And I asked her, “Well how many belts do you use?”

But she said, “I use exactly one.”  And she said, “I haven’t worn another belt in, say, 10 years.”

10 years? All right, that is junk, okay? If you’re not using it, that is junk. All right, so get rid of it and move it on its way.

People Keep Candle Holders as Junk

How do you know it's junk CandlesCandles come in these fancy containers and they have a decorative top that comes on them. When the candle burns down to almost nothing, people will save those jars with the intention of scooping out the rest of the wax.

They’re going to wash them and polish them up and then they’re going to use them for something else. The problem is this; most people never get around to doing that final step. So, they have an empty candle jar with no purpose in their home.

How to Tell if it’s Ego Junk

How do you know it's junk coffee mugWhen you go to a trade show, people will give you things. They’re called ad specialties. Most of the time it’s ego junk, meaning it’s stuff that you’re never going to use.

Maybe you’ll use it but it’s unlikely and it has somebody’s company name on it. One day, I open the cupboards in my house and we have dozens of mugs with companies’ names on them.

My husband is in the car business and so people will come to visit him and they bring him a mug. Then out of politeness and courtesy, he brings this nice, fancy mug home.

You Won’t Use Ego Junk

How do you know if it's junk, woman drinking coffeeWell, my husband and I don’t drink coffee, so guess how much we use those mugs? Not at all.

I don’t think we’ve ever used one of those mugs. I used one of them one time as a pencil holder and I put some pencils and ink pens in it.

But I don’t need dozens, right? If you have excess stuff like that that you’re not using, it’s junk to you.

Broken Christmas Lights are Junk

How do you know it's junk string of Christmas lightsDo you have Christmas lights that are perfect except for a few broken lights? Every Christmas, you say the same thing. You say,” I’m going to go through that string of lights and fix the busted one.”

But you’ve been storing these broken Christmas lights for years, and you’ve never fixed the broken light.

When Christmas time comes, you’re most likely going to just buy a new strand of lights. You’ll never get around to those old broken lights, so they serve no purpose. You can even recycle those old, broken lights.

Old Appliances are Junk Too

How do you know it's junk Panani makerThere are old appliances like little Panini makers and toasters that you don’t use. If you use it once or twice a year, you most likely don’t need it, okay? It’s just taking up space in your house.

I know that when we moved from one house to the next, in the move I had this waffle iron and the handle broke off. I saved it because it was expensive.

But the problem is, I don’t even make waffles. I haven’t made waffles in eight or 10 years. But here I was, hanging on to this waffle maker because it still worked. Just because something still works doesn’t make it useful.

                                   Old Clothes are Junk                                         

How do you know it's junk woman holds pile of laundryA lot of times people’s closets are full of clothes that don’t fit them anymore. They feel an attachment to them, or that they can’t get rid of them because they spent a lot of money on them.

The reality is, if you lose the weight, you’re not going to go back to old jeans and go parading around in those. Get rid of old clothes because if it doesn’t fit you now, it’s junk.

Don’t have stuff you’re going to grow into and stuff you’re going to shrink into. That’s junk. What fits you right now, that’s what’s in front of you. That’s it.

Broken Stuff is Junk

How do you know it's junk old radiosHere’s the rule about broken stuff. If it’s broken and needs to be repaired, and you have not already repaired it, you are not going to ever repair it. You have to declutter broken objects in your home.

So, get rid of it. I don’t mean put it out in your driveway and give it away and I don’t mean take it to the thrift store. The stuff goes in the trash bin. It is garbage. It’s broken. You cannot use it, no one else can use it until it’s fixed. Toss it and get rid of it. That’s junk.

The Rule for How to Tell it’s Junk

How do you know it's junk garbage cans on curbHere’s the rule. When you’re going through your stuff, the question is this: If I never saw this again, would I miss it?

If the answer is, “no,” then you don’t need it now. It’s junk. If I never saw this again, the answer is, it’s junk.

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*** Resources From This Episode ***

Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff –

Cluttered Mess to Organized Success Workbook: Declutter and Organize your Home and Life with over 100 Checklists and Worksheets –

Real Life Organizing: Clean and Clutter-Free in 15 Minutes a Day –

Organization Hacks: Over 350 Simple Solutions to Organize Your Home in No Time! –

30 Days to a Clean and Organized House –

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