Quarantine Decluttering: Keep, Store, Donate, and Discard

Lara Skinner | June 16, 2020 @ 12:00 AM

Americans sheltering-in-place have been using this time at home to evaluate their priorities, their belongings, and everything in between. You’ve probably felt how limited your space at home is, especially since we all tend to overfill the space we have. Whether you’re in a studio apartment or a house with a three-car garage, items collect and it can start to feel like your stuff is overtaking your home. Decluttering is a chance to take control of your environment and create the space to breathe easier.

By now you may have already reviewed your belongings, and decided exactly which items you use regularly and which you can live without. The most basic of decluttering structures results in 2 piles: Keep and Discard. But even if you’re not following the Marie Kondo-level of advanced organizing, you know that more sorting categories are helpful. We suggest making 4 piles: Keep, Store, Donate, and Discard. Keep, Store, Donate, and Discard

KEEP is for those items that you use regularly or always need nearby. You want to keep the mementos, goods, and gadgets that you love; everything that makes your home both high-functioning and cozy.

STORE can be considered a subcategory of Keep, but it definitely needs its own pile. Gather the items filling up your cabinets, closets, or garage, that don’t need to be kept at home. Maybe it’s stuff you only need once or twice a year, like seasonal sporting goods or holiday decorations. It might be a long-term project that can be cleared away for now, or those items that you don’t need in your living space, but aren’t ready to part with completely. Belongings accumulate over the years, and a large Store pile is the natural byproduct of living a full life.

DONATE is for those items you no longer need or want, but know someone else could benefit from them. As the saying goes, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure! Double-check with your local charities to see who is currently accepting donations via pick-up or drop-off. In order to decrease the transmission of the COVID-19 virus, donation centers might be closed temporarily. During your decluttering, Donate is still an important pile so you know what you will give to charity, as soon as you get the opportunity to do so.

DISCARD can be the most difficult, but is a critical step in honestly evaluating what you own. Throw away those items that you don’t want or need, and you know that no one else will either.


Congratulations on being decisive about your belongings. Celebrate freeing up that space! You can even sing the Elsa song about “letting it go” if you’re feeling musical.

Keep the momentum going! It’s time to box up your Store pile, label all the boxes clearly, and take them to your local self-storage unit. StaxUP/Lockaway Storage has lots of convenient locations ready to serve you. Our team can suggest the correct storage unit size and offer competitive pricing. Need more boxes or packing supplies? We have those too! Strategically fill your storage unit by placing the items you’ll access the least at the back or using them as the bottom row of boxes. Store the items you’re going to want to pull out sooner closer to the front. Once you’re all done, it’s time to lock up your storage unit and head home. Isn’t it amazing how much better your home feels now that it’s decluttered?

Quarantine has taught us all a powerful lesson in reevaluating our top priorities. Your home and belongings can be a reflection of your values. Discard what’s no longer needed; Donate the items that can help others; Store what you should, in order to free up living space; and Keep what makes your life better all-around.

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