stealth decluttering

Miss Minimalist’s recent post is about stealth decluttering, which basically means decluttering inconspicuously instead of making it a big production.  Her post totally resonated with me because I stealth declutter my mom’s house all the time, especially her closet.

Now, to be fair, my mom is not a big shopper or collector.  But once something enters her home, she has a really hard time getting rid of it unless it’s broken or trash (literally).  Our biggest source of clutter comes from my aunt who is a shopoholic that likes to cast off all her unwanted clothes to my mom.  After a decade or so of my aunt giving my mom clothes and my mom never getting rid of any of it, her room-sized closet is filled floor to ceiling with clothes, even after adding TWO additional clothing racks.

The few times we’ve tried decluttering together were not very successful.  I’ll try to throw away a shirt that 1) isn’t her size 2) has stains on it and 3) she hasn’t worn in 20 years and she’ll still say “no, I might wear it someday.”  Out of 50 shirts, she’ll only let me get rid of the one that’s damaged beyond repair.  So now I just go into her closet every time I visit her and fill up a trash bag with clothes I know she doesn’t wear (and probably never will) and put it in my car for the next time I drop by Goodwill.  I do this while she is out or distracted by something so it doesn’t give her grief.  She knows I do this and she doesn’t love the idea of it.  But she does love how her closet is getting more organized by the week and is ultimately grateful that I do.


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