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  • Writer's pictureBritany Libutty

Discarding Items and Clutter from a Moldy Home

Updated: Mar 22, 2022

As you navigate the different steps of mold illness and recovery, one of the most pivotal to take seriously and do thoroughly is to remediate. You can not get well in the environment that you got sick in.

Please read that again.

Try to understand that the mold is not the only thing in your environment that can make you ill, if you are living in a water damaged home- there are other bacteria and organisms that come along for the ride and work with mold and mycotoxins to mess you up. Mold and myco.s may do a majority of the work by damaging your immune system enough to allowing many things in to pummel your body systematically- but they don't work alone.

All of these things move around your home:

-with air flow whereby they land in new places

-"by sticking to" you or your pets and falling off later

-"by sticking to" your possessions

As a result, we have to take the remediation and cleaning phases of sterilizing our environment seriously. It sucks big time, but if you don't then you will not have an environment that is clean enough and safe enough for you and your family to recover in.

And the thing that we all wish for most on this journey is to get well and never have to think about this intensely about this stuff ever again. So doing the real work right now is worth it if that gets you to where you can heal.

A part of remediation will inevitably be losing items. Call it what you want: "throwing out your possessions", "purging", "cleansing your home", or plainly "pitching your shit"- you need the get rid of items that are affected by mold and co. You also want to lessen the amount of items in your home overall as clutter attracts dust and who loves dust?... Mold.

You do not want to go through all of this mold hell journey, and have to do it again. Help yourself now and makes changes that will affect your recovery and future positively.


A gentle way to help you or your children decide how to reduce clutter in your home (after you have decided what needs to leave for health and safety reasons) is to consider working through the KonMari Method.

"What is the KonMari Method™ ?

The KonMari Method is a simple but effective tidying method, ensuring you will never again relapse to clutter. It uses a unique selection criterion – choosing what sparks joy! You are not choosing what to discard but rather choosing to keep only the items that speak to your heart. Through tidying, you can reset your life and spend the rest of your life surrounded by the people and things that you love the most. "

(This ^ and the following information is taken from )

Tidy by Category and Follow the Right Order

Tidy by category – not by location. Going from room to room makes it hard to truly comprehend what you own – and will inevitably lead to a rebound. The order in which you tidy is the secret sauce of Marie’s method.

By starting with the easiest category, you hone your decision-making skills and clarify what sparks joy. This is the order:

  • Clothes

  • Books

  • Papers

  • Komono (Miscellaneous items)

  • Sentimental items

Gather all of your clothes, for example, from all throughout the house – (the hall closet, storage bins, underbed organizers, trunks, etc.) – and make ONE HUGE pile in ONE ROOM.

Once you have every item of clothing you own in one place, it’s time to dive into the nitty-gritty of tidying the KonMari way.

“When you’re choosing what to keep, ask your heart; when you're choosing where to store something, ask your house!”

Focus on What to Keep

Marie’s tidying method is about choosing what to keep – not what to get rid of, and this is an important distinction from other techniques. Tidying is about looking forward, so devote your energy into choosing objects that spark joy for you. Here’s how:

  • Pick up each item one at a time.

  • Ask yourself if it sparks joy – you should feel a little thrill, as if the cells in your body are slowly rising.

  • If it does, keep it!

  • If it doesn’t, let it go with gratitude.

Using the order outlined above, follow these steps – and your intuition – until you’ve gone through all of your possessions, one category at a time.

Discard With Gratitude

Marie believes that tidying is a celebration, a special send-off for things that will be departing from the house. There’s an opportunity to learn from all the things in your life, including the ones that you discard.

If you’re letting go of something you’ve used extensively, thank it for its service and for enhancing your life. If you’re letting go of a belonging you never used, it taught that you have no purpose for something like this in your life. Thinking deeply about each item you discard will affect how you live and acquire new things moving forward.

They also might spark joy for someone else now – win win!

(A note from me- donating clothes and items is possible for you to do if they are not visually moldy, smelly, water-stained, or marked in any way from contamination. Keep in mind that 25% of the population is affected by mold and mycotoxins while 75% of the population isn't affected the same ways.

You may be able to donate items or sell them. but I could encourage you to wash the items first, or communicate to the person receiving that they need to wash the items well, or disclose that they came from a home that had mold in it. Donating comes from a kind place, but don't donate if you question the cleanliness or mold exposure of anything. You could end up harming someone else.)

Give Everything a Home

Clutter is caused by a failure to put things back where they belong. The trick to never reverting to clutter after a tidying festival is to designate a place for each thing – a home for every single one of your items. But remember: Before even thinking about storage, it’s imperative that you finish discarding first! Store similar items close together and keep storage solutions simple. If you’re not sure where to put something, remember this advice: When you’re choosing what to keep, ask your heart; when you’re choosing where to store something, ask your house!

(Above taken from


When we purged about 70% of the things we had in our home it allowed so much more space to exist.

Some people may look at our home now and think it is too empty, but I would reframe that thought because,

Our house has room for us to grow inside of it, and be active together in it.

There is room for new memories to be made playing together.

There is more space for clean air to flow, giving us better health.

There are less things to tidy or clean, giving us more free time.

Less cleaning ultimately equals less stress, and less disagreements about cleaning up.

All of these things are positives, and we embrace them as a family now.

If you have gone through remediation and are onto the cleaning portion of your journey, I strongly encourage you to try and use KonMari as a way of helping you clear things out and move on.

You can watch Marie Kondo's show on Netflix, here is a preview:

There is also an online course for KonMari:

Happy Tiding!

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