Declutter By Categories With Yerdle: A Veteran’s Guide

Decluttering is challenging! We are conditioned to acquire and consume. Nobody will be more amazed than you by how much lighter you’ll feel once you do a few key categories. 

Having lead 300 members through a category declutter, here are my tips for you:

1. Start Small - the more defined the category is, the more successful you’ll be.

2. Forgive Yourself - be kind about past acquisitions and excesses! It will feel wonderful to let go of your best once-loved items on Yerdle when you’ve decluttered, because you will know exactly who they’re going to.

3. Declutter By Categories - some people tackle clutter room by room, but I’ve found that decluttering by categories keeps the clutter away.

I recommend beginning with the following categories -- please note that underwear and swim bottoms are not suitable to post on Yerdle. 

Each bullet is its own category -- dump all items in a heap on the floor and pick out the ones that spark joy!

  • NWT Underwear & Bras
  • Shapewear
  • Socks
  • Swimsuits Tops + Cover-Ups
  • Activewear

Then try the mother of all categories:


I found 65 pairs of my own shoes all over the house. I ended up keeping about 17. I still think that is too many, but I am trying to be loving to myself as I tidy up for the first time. 

  • Accessories
  • Clothing - It is critical to break clothing down into smaller categories. We are conditioned and trained to buy new items every season, while we wear a fraction of what we have. Not to worry! Someone on Yerdle will give your once-loved or never-worn items the love they need! 

A special note about kids’ clothing -- Once you have done your own clothing by category, you will have laser vision about what needs to be decluttered in your kids’ rooms. Kids clothes are a perennial winner on Yerdle, and best posted in small lots by size. 

A special note about your spouse’s clothing -- Leave them be. Once they see your well-organized space, my guess is they’ll step right up and get in the game. 

  • Books

This is a difficult category for most people and it makes perfect sense why Kondo saved it until after clothing. Once you have a sense of peace and joy in your own world (closets), you will have a clear vision about what sparks joy elsewhere. You’ll also have a vision of how to group two or three of your lovely once-loved books into lots to post on Yerdle. Young-Adult series books posted as a group are a particular winner, along with cookbooks and crafting books by type. 

  • Toys

 After tidying your clothes and books, you will also have laser vision about toys. When I decluttered this category, I was left with three empty large plastic storage bins that I can repurpose for something else. As with other categories, it helps if you break toys down into subcategories such as board games, puzzles, etc.

  • Ephemera and papers

You will feel a zillion times lighter when you round out your category decluttering and get to papers. I decluttered decades of old love letters and only held onto ones from my husband. Here’s a tip from Emily M. about what to do with all the old items you find: “I have a friend who's been married around 30 years who kept all of her cards between her and her husband. They now shop those cards and re-give them to each other seeing the memories as they do."

- Decluttering Veteran, Shira Levine