DeClutter For Good ~ Small Things

Don’t have the time, patience or need to know the nitty gritty of what I plan to do with the clutter? That’s cool. Just scan the items in RED on the list to see what I could use. Remember, leave a question in the comment section or send me an email or call me anytime to ask about specific items that you have!



To See some Clutter-Turned Repurposed Products,

click here to go to my photoblog.


I first planned to merely list the items you can DeClutter for GoodTM. And, you certainly can just scan the listed items in red. But, with the idea of sharing my plans a bit at a time, I’ve provided some of the plans for the creative repurposing of our collective clutter. The best part is that your home (and mine, too!) will become a less-cluttered, more-peaceful place and you’ll likely have more time to actually spend on creative projects at my place (if you are into that), either working on your own or at one of our scheduled creative workshops. Any way you slice it, it’s WIN, WIN, WIN… Even your clutter will thank you, reborn as creative supplies…

Misc. Clutter

Items that fit a repurposed product idea I’ve learned about along the way…


vintage suitcases

Collections Clutter


Collections…I love the hands on, low-tech nature of collections. I only wish the kids still loved to pour over them the way they once did. My son Mark actually had a collection of collections. So, what to do with them now that they are taking up space and gathering dust? Um, meaning the collections, not the kids… Keep those items most special to you or your kids. We’ll even come up with some workshops to honor those prized selections and the memories they stir.

As for the collections or portions of collections that merely add to your clutter and stress instead of adding to your enjoyment and quality of life? Put those items in a box marked “Declutter For GoodTM.” They will find a new purpose as the stuff that inspired, Mixed-Media and Assemblage Art are made of. I’ve seen some really great stuff when discarded collections are used as just the right embellishment or combined with other fellow collections to pack a creative punch. Collections that fit the bill:

· Buttons

· Stamps

· Coins

· Marbles

· Rocks

Crafty Clutter


This is for those families who, with the best of intentions, have overwhelmed their homes with so many crafting notions that they spend more time moving them from one place to another than actually using them. By donating them, the materials will be combined and organized with the craft clutter of others. I fully expect you’ll actually have a chance to use them more by visiting my place for a couple of hours on your own or taking part in a how-to workshop (Haven’t you always wanted to actually know how to attach a jewelry clasp that actually holds and looks decent?) And, the best part, no mess to clean up back at home! Here are some crafts that come to mind:

· Beading

· Sewing

· Jewelry Making

· Scrapbooking

· Knitting

· Have Other Craft-Based Extra? Ask Me About Them!

· Crocheting

Jewelry Clutter

From old jewelry boxes to old fashion jewelry, you name it, we can use it.

  • Broaches
  • Necklaces
  • Bracelets
  • Watches – Particularly those with FACES
  • Earrings – singles are fine
  • Broken Clasps and Pins Not a Problem

Old Games


From Mixed Media and Assemblage Art to Recycled Jewelry, old games have lots of possibilities. I’m talking about games with a bit of history, like the old Monopoly games. Scrabble tiles are just the ticket for using words to add to your one-of-a-kind creation ~ from personalizing a piece with someone’s name to words of inspiration, humor or whimsy. Mancala boards are great for sorting and the flattened pieces great for mosaics. We’ll come up with donation opportunities for complete games that still have a useful life bringing fun to kids in need. For now, here are the games that come to mind for repurposing:


· Scrabble

· Monopoly

· Mancala

· Bingo

· Clue

· Old Maid

· Playing Cards

· Dominoes

· Other Old Classic Games

· Newer Games Can be Donated to Local Groups ( We’ll Get a List Together In Time)

Old Toys


From Barbie’s shoes to Star Wars figurines, there is so much to do with this stuff. Did you check out the links to some cool examples in my archived May Update? A lot of old toy accessories are great elements when repurposed into whimsical jewelry or unusual creations of art. As for the bigger items, complete sets and the like, you may want to hang onto those, as well, for some other plans I have down the road, including donating them to charities that can find new homes for them (once I’ve done a little research to find the right organizations to partner with). Here are some of the toys that come to mind:

· Barbie

· Polly Pocket

· Dollhouse

· Playmobil

· Lego

· Duplo

· American Girl



Ephema-what? Okay, here’s the definition: “Ephemera is transitory written and printed matter, not intended to be retained or preserved.” Meaning? The term ephemera is currently used to refer to those items that conjure up an era, capture a moment in time or a sense of nostalgia.

Hang onto the ephemera that is your own special memorabilia. Box up the rest to DeClutter for GoodTM, saving it from the landfill and providing inspiration and embellishment for any number of unique creations. Here’s a list of ephemera that we can repurpose, recycle and reuse:

· baseball cards

· bookmarks

· greeting cards

· old letters

· pamphlets

· photographs

· postcards

· tickets

· old magazines

· old print ads

· playbills

· vacation keepsakes

Container Clutter


With all this clutter, you might be thinking what a mess the new business will be. That just wouldn’t do. So, as I collect it, I plan to set up some creative means to contain the clutter. Organizing is great but it’s better when we don’t have to buy new-fangled storage containers. The plan is to organize the clutter in such a way that it is instantly, almost magically, transformed into the creative supplies from which new treasures will be born. So, here are some of the items that can be repurposed into creative storage space:

· Hat Boxes

· Old Drawers

· Old Shelves

· Old Crates

· Old Muffin Tins

· Glass Jars with or without Tops

· Old Typesetter Trays (‘cuz’ we all have those hanging around)



Booklovers, pay attention! If you are like me and can’t resist a nice book on the latest topic that has captured your curiosity… If your book collection far exceeds your bookcase capacity… If you love your coffee table books more than your coffee table… Cut down your book collection and DeClutter For GoodTM. I plan to hang onto the best in such a way that you can “visit” them anytime and know that they are providing inspiration and education to others in our community, as well.

Books that don’t make the cut will be donated to other charitable concerns who share our mission-driven business philosophy. Here are the book categories I envision will support my objective to share inspirational, motivational and creative books:

· How-To

· Self-Help

· Hobbies

· Crafts

· Interest

· Inspiration

· Coffee Table Books

· Inspirational Biography

Kitchen Clutter


When it comes to creative reuse of kitchen clutter, there are as many ideas as there are china patterns… To avoid completely overwhelming you, take my word for it. I’ll share some cool pix of repurposed classic kitchen clutter in due time. For now, I’ll just share the home-made mosaic idea as one example: Old chipped pottery and the like can make for quite the personalized stepping stones or even a unique house number display ~ complete with that special mug your nearly-grown kiddo made back in the day when he or she actually went to bed before you and thought Barney the Dinosaur was totally awesome. So, are you catching onto the drill? Set those special items that tug at your heartstrings aside. As for that piece of solid pottery from the local home store that you never found a spot for or that broke and is headed for the landfill?  DeClutter it For GoodTM. Here are some ideas of what I’m looking for:

· Platters

· Old Aluminum Cookie Cutters

· Broken or Chipped Dishes, Mugs, and the like

· Pedestal Cake Platters

· Old Coffee Urns, Pots, Percolators

· Vintage and Funky Salt & Pepper Sets

· Silver Utensils

· Teapots, Teacups, Saucers

· Old or Unusual Glass Bottles


ALERT! A special group of small things we could really put to good use is Old Hardware. Sounds weird, I know! Trust me, I’ve got something in mind for all of it!

Old Hooks To Make New Coat Racks and Key Holders

Old Hooks To Make New Coat Racks and Key Holders


What better new purpose than to hold coats as part of a coat rack?

What better new purpose than to hold coats as part of a coat rack?

Mini works of architecture like those pictured above can be used in all kinds of mixed media artwork or as just the right decorative touch on a functional piece.

Mini works of architecture like those pictured above can be used in all kinds of mixed media artwork or as just the right decorative touch on a functional piece.

  • doorknobs
  • keyholes
  • skeleton keys
  • coat hooks
  • teacup hooks
  • hooks of any kind
  • old painty screws



Think I left anything out? Add your questions in the comment box below. Others may be wondering, too. I’ll be sure to let you know if it is something we can put to good use. Eventually, I plan to put together a Clutter I Don’t Need list, along with suggestions on where such items can be donated. It’s on my to-do list!

Have Fun as You DeClutter For GoodTM!


6 responses to “DeClutter For Good ~ Small Things

  1. thanks fo the ideas

  2. Hi Nancy!

    All I can say is “wow”. This is very impressive!

    Do you want fabric or just notions?


  3. You will probably hit the jackpot with me. So many of my cleaning clients pass off there old junk to me. I usually Freecycle it or donate it to a church sale, now I’ll give you first dibs.

  4. Nancy,

    I will keep this list close to me and begin collecting for the “Nancy pile”.

    Good luck. Kay

  5. Thanks, Kim!
    It’s so great to see you in your “new” house on your “old” land, right where you belong. I’m thinking we could create some fabulous personalized, meaningful pieces as you will, no doubt, never want to step a foot off of your property. You deserve it! Enjoy!

  6. Nancy,

    Great ideas to keep me busy as I sort through my list of items while moving again!
    I am happy to help and look forward to your new adventure.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s