Let it Go, Let it Go

Recently I tore through our house in a mad fury, making piles marked “toss,” “donate” and “keep.” I wish I could say my actions stemmed from some of that refreshing springtime energy, but, in fact, it all stemmed from frustration.

This latest heavy purge was the result of being buried by an avalanche of boxes, bins and bags when I tried to get at the summer gear from our storage room. Going in for that one quick item turned into two hours of cleaning.

I’d like to think that I run a pretty organized home, and I do make sure that things never devolve into all-consuming chaos. Yet, it’s so easy to let things collect and pile up, especially with a family of five.

While it’s hard to let go of some items, especially the sentimental ones, you do need to take a step back and realistically evaluate which items you truly need.

For instance, I had a really hard time when I went through the girls baby clothes, blankets and those cute little socks. To reconcile my desire to declutter with my nostalgic need to keep some items, I decided that one medium bin of baby keepsakes is all I get, and I donated the rest.

I use this same method whatever the items in question, evaluating the storage space, and what is needed versus wanted.

In the avalanche fiasco that I previously mentioned, I found some old towels, some baking pans, and some miscellaneous kitchen items. Knowing that I hadn’t used any of these items in at least two years, I questioned whether I really need to keep them at all when their only purpose seemed to be getting in the way?

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I also stumbled upon my my old hair crimper in the avalanche, a hair-styling tool that has barely seen any use since my teen years. I think I might have crimped my daughters’ hair twice in their lifetime, so I knew I was holding onto it for sentimental reasons. That nostalgia likes to hold me back sometimes.

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I’ve learned through my many household purges that some days I’m more sentimental than others. If I find I’m tossing items into the ‘keep pile’ for little reason, I force myself to walk away and tackle the job another time.

Once I’d cleaned up the avalanche, I remembered that my initial mission was to get out some summer items. After finally taking said items into the twins’ room, I realized that I needed to sort through their stuff as well. Each new season is a good time to take out the outgrown and bulky items; in doing so, you’ll discover what you need to purchase.

I made quite the pile to donate just from their clothing alone. There were quite a few dresses that were too small for them now, yet they wanted to hold onto them because ‘they twirl great’. Luckily, my twins know that their beloved items are going to other kids that need and want them. It warmed my heart to hear my daughter say she’s happy that others girls will get to have fun in her ‘twirling dress’.

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When I donate items that we no longer need, the girls come with me. I’ve always included them in any pay-it-forward initiative, to teach them the value of giving back and thinking of others. They are always happy to come along and help. Well, that and they love to look around Value Village for things to buy, too. On our last trip to donate, they each picked out some superbly inexpensive costume jewelry.

This latest purge was needed and it has really helped to keep the clutter to a minimum. We do tend to hold onto a lot of unnecessary items, and for the longest time. Yet, it feels great to donate, and it makes way for new items that are needed and will be used. I guess I should tackle my own closet next; I’m pretty sure I still have a couple sweatshirts in there from high school.

Suddenly I’m humming a song you just might have heard once or twice … let it go, let it go! 


How often do you take items for donation? 


Value Village is more than your favourite thrift store- they also support nonprofit organizations like Canadian Diabetes Association and Developmental Disabilities Association, among others, in your community. Remember to donate your reusable items to local nonprofits at Value Village! In addition to supporting the nonprofit, you’ll also be helping planet Earth. Value Village, Good n’ Thrifty! Learn more:


Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Value Village via Mode Media Canada. The opinions expressed herein are those of
the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Value Village.


  1. As I unpack my clothes at the beginning of each season, I like to make a bag of clothes to donate. It helps make room in my closet for some new items and makes me feel good about helping others.

  2. We don’t take items for donation very often, but when we do, it’s epic. Like half the house epic.

  3. I put a bag in my trunk and add stuff as I come across it. I then drop off whenever I am in the area. I do this on a continuing basis and helps keep me a bit more decluttered.

  4. I love collecting items for donation. It’s so refreshing to clear the clutter now and then!

  5. We just took a huge load over to our local thrift store for donation. We do a house wide purge about once a year.

  6. I was at the point where I was do sting like every week! I love to purge and help others in the process.

  7. i’ve been purging like a mad woman. feels so good and if we don’t need it someone else can surly use it!

  8. I go through closest and cupboards on a weekly basis because I am OCD with keeping everything clean and organized. If I haven’t used it lately don’t need it.

  9. Ugh, I feel your pain. Sometimes I go into a riot and start purging – that’s when my hubby stays away… lol. Moving has helped as I can go through it one box at a time

  10. I would totally buy that crimper from you. LOL. I love having it on hand for halloween and dress up days. LOL. I can’t find one anywhere

  11. I drop items off at Value Village pretty regularly because I live in a very small house with no basement and no garage. I will admit though I have a small plastic tote for each of my boys, when it was time to let all the baby clothes go I took the garbage bag full of them to my moms and made her do the actual drop-off.

  12. I’ve been going through items since I was a child, giving away things I don’t need or use, even if they were favorites. I still do that today as an adult by sending used and new items to my family in the Philippines. I also send them the samples that I receive here since I prefer to use the full size product. They greatly appreciate what I send, so, I’m happy that they didn’t go to waste. Other times, I donate them to thrift stores in the GTA if nobody is able to take them among my friends.

  13. It’s incredible how much stuff we accumulate over the months. I’d say a good clean out could be done every few months just to stay on top of it.

  14. I am getting better but at least twice a year. I also learned the trick, instead of holding onto that dress, or crimper, or your dad’s belt. Find a picture with that item in it and put the picture in a keepsake box. Its the memories not the itme we are trying to hold onto right.

  15. PS sad story I just redonated a curling iron that I purchased at Value village ( with the price tag still on) that I had found t Value Village, why… I have no idea, I have not used a curling iron in years but I just had to have it

  16. My kids wouldn’t let anything go (including socks with wholes). I find the time when nobody is around to sneak some stuff out

  17. I’m not a keeper and I had regret for not keeping stuff.

    I usually donate once a year.

    I did a major clean up when I got laid off work,in my closet. Donate lots of clothes.

  18. I usually donate twice a year– from the spring ‘clean-up’ and the end of summer ‘clean-up’.
    Like you, I donate wearable items to charity-usually Salvation Army. It is easier to give items away when you know someone may be able to use them.
    I find it much more difficult to give away the cards my children have given us over the years.-I still have boxes of them-maybe some day…

  19. How long do we purge? Not often enough. I try to talk my wife into trimming everyone’s wardrobe to 3 pants, 3 shorts, 15 shirts plus socks and underwear but she never seems to buy it…

  20. I purge several times a year…that tells you how much stuff we have that we do not need. I have a rule now that for any one new item that I bring into the house at least 2 items have to go. I have lived in the same house for 27 years and things pile up. I’ve had several yard sales over the years, but now I take items to the Hospice Shoppe in SJ, NB, CAC or sometimes I just drop stuff off at the Value Village in SJ. I need to keep cleaning out as I plan on selling and I want all the unnecessary stuff gone so I keep going with the packing and donations.

  21. we dontae on a regular basis.around 5 times a year to a little second hand shop called st pauls they also gives food to the needy.they sell things cheap and rely on dontaions.everyone who works there is a volunteer.we also will donate to the womans shelter.they are always in great need.usually spring,summer,fall winter and christmas season.

  22. Oh, I definitely need to declutter before moving back to Europe next summer! I dread getting started, but I also know it will be a relief to get rid of a lot of old stuff

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