How to Declutter Knick-Knacks: A Comprehensive Guide

ideas for dealing with knick knack clutter in your home like these cluttered ornaments on a mantel

This is a guide for anyone that wants to declutter knick-knacks yet is overwhelmed by the process. Maybe you have too many of them and they are taking up space, they have become a hated chore to keep clean and dust-free or you have simply fallen out of love with them and they are now just ugly clutter. If you recognize yourself here then read on for some decluttering tips.

The most common challenge people have when decluttering knick-knacks is that they don’t know how to start, and feel anxious and overwhelmed by the thought of even starting the decluttering process.

It can be tough to get started when it comes to decluttering knick-knacks, especially if you have a lot of them and you are attached to the objects sentimentally. This article will provide you with tips on how to declutter knick-knacks in your game in a way that is satisfying and doesn’t create more clutter.

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What is a Knick Knack?

ways to display ornaments without them looking cluttered

What a funny name knick-knack its a word I love saying, but what does it actually mean? I see them as small generally worthless objects, particularly decorative ornaments that come in collections and are lined up on shelves, tables, and mantles. Often they have sentimental associations with your family or provoke memories of past events like school, relatives or exciting vacations.

Consider how much Enjoyment these Objects are giving you

When decluttering your knick-knacks, it’s important to consider how much enjoyment these objects are giving you. If you’re not enjoying them, it might be time to prune your collection. However, if you still love some of them, but don’t have the space for them, you can find ways to display them without making your home look cluttered.

Assess your Clutter’s True Value

One of the most important things to do when decluttering your home is to assess the value of your clutter. This means taking a close look at the objects and determining what to do with them. Some objects may have financial value, while others may have sentimental value. It’s important to consider both of these values when making decisions about what to keep and what to discard.

How do you Determine the Monetary Value of an Item?

I would never be rude enough to tell anyone that their items are completely valueless, but I often find people tend to overvalue the items they own. If you are keeping hold of items that need decluttering because you believe they are valuable you will never complete the decluttering process with ease.

Therefore I would urge you to assess the value of your knick-knacks because 99 times out of a 100 you will find they have either no or little value. One way to determine the monetary value of an item is to research how much it’s worth online. Sites like eBay or Ruby Lane may be useful. Alternatively, you can also take items to an auction house, pawnshop, or antique store for an independent valuation.

Does the Object have Sentimental Value?

Even if an object has no monetary value, it may still have a strong sentimental value. This is often the case with knick-knacks. If you’re attached to an object because of the memories it evokes, then it’s important to find a way to keep those memories without hanging on to the physical object.

Alternatively, you could decide to reduce your collection dramatically by physically keeping only a few items you are deeply attached to, then displaying these in an uncluttered way.

Related Decluttering Sentimental Items

What to do with Sentimental Knick-Knacks

best ways of decluttering sentimental items

If you have decided that an object is too sentimental to let go, but you don’t want it taking up space in your home, there are a few things you can do.

The minimalist way to do this is to take a photo of the item and place the photo in a scrapbook, photo album, hard drive, or cloud storage. This way, you can keep the memories alive without the physical objects cluttering up spaces in your home.

You could choose to give your sentimental objects to someone special. This could be a close friend or family member that you know would appreciate it. This way, you’re still keeping your memories alive, but you’re also giving someone else the opportunity to enjoy them.

The least viable option is to create a memory box. This is a place where you can store all your sentimental items together. Storing in a place like an attic or under the bed. This way, they’re not taking up space in your home, but they’re still easily accessible if you ever want to reminisce. The downside is you are not actually removing the items from your home and pruning your collection so it just fits into a small box can be challenging.

Declutter Dog Ornaments Project and Tips

Here are some photographs of the way I decluttered the mantel in my kitchen. It was cluttered with a variety of ornaments mainly of dogs. The airedales are from my late Uncle Stan who kept those dogs all his life. The Westies have sentimental value as we used to keep westies for many years.

cluttered collection of dog ornaments on a mantel

I decided to keep 3 of the airedales that are standing up on the mantel and remove all the other ornaments.

decluttered airedale dog ornaments

The westies were grouped together as a cute set of 3. It should be noted that I did have about 30 westie ornaments. A couple of the larger ones went into the garden and the rest were donated to goodwill.

westie dog ornaments decluttered into a group of three

How to Declutter Small Things

Decluttering your small things can be just as satisfying as decluttering your larger objects. It’s a great way to start the decluttering process and to see tangible results quickly.


When decluttering small things, it’s important to be organized and methodical. This means taking everything out of its designated space and sorting it into piles. You can then go through each pile and decide what to keep, what to discard, and what to donate.

For example, if you have a large collection of thimbles you have been collecting over the years. Sort through and just keep a few of your very favorites to display or put in a memory box.

Set Time limits

Even though the items are small they can be fiddly and time-consuming to deal with. One great tip is to prevent becoming overwhelmed tip is to set a time limit for yourself. Decide how long you’re going to spend decluttering small things and work until the timer goes off. This will help keep you focused and motivated.

Why Purging Memorabilia is Important

Memorabilia are those items you have collected through your life that bring back memories of past times. If you have too much your home will just look untidy and cluttered. Why is it important to purge your memorabilia? There are a few reasons. First, it declutters your home and your life. Having too many physical objects can be overwhelming and lead to feelings of anxiety.

Second, it allows you to focus on the present. When you’re constantly surrounded by reminders of the past, it can be difficult to move on and enjoy life in the present.

Finally, it allows you to cherish your memories more. When you have fewer physical objects to clean maintain or distract you, you’ll be able to spend more time reflecting on your memories and appreciating them.

You have a box of old memories that you can’t seem to let go of. Every time you look at them, you’re reminded of happy times in your life.

By purging your memorabilia, you can free up space in your home and declutter your life. You’ll be able to enjoy your memories without being bogged down by physical objects.

How to Display Knick-Knacks without looking Cluttered

how to declutter small collections of ornaments in your home

When decluttering your home, it’s important to find a way to display your knick-knacks without them looking cluttered. This can be a challenge, but with a little creativity, you can find a solution that works for you.

Prune Your Collection

When you have too many knick-knacks, it can make your home look cluttered. One way to avoid this is to prune your collection. Get rid of anything that you don’t absolutely love. This will help you edit down to only the essentials.

Group Like Objects Together

When you do have items that you want to display, it’s important to do so in a way that doesn’t look cluttered. One way to achieve this is to choose items that are similar in style or theme. This will create a cohesive look that is pleasing to the eye.

Pick themed items together in groups of  3 or 5 try not to line them up in a straight line instead group them in clusters. Each cluster looks better if the items are of different heights.

Allow Space Between Items

When arranging your knick-knacks, be sure to allow enough space between them. This will help prevent your display from looking too cluttered.

By following these tips, you can display your knick-knacks without them taking over your home.

Stop Buying Stuff

It can be difficult to stop buying knick-knacks, especially if you find them appealing. However, if you’re having trouble decluttering your home, it might be time to stop buying new ones. This will help you focus on the items you already have and make it easier to get rid of the ones you don’t need.

How to stop buying stuff impulsively

If you’re having trouble decluttering your home, it might be time to stop buying new knick-knacks. This will help you focus on the items you already have and make it easier to get rid of the ones you don’t need.

Ask yourself if the item is something you truly love. If it’s not, then it’s probably not worth your money.

Try to find other ways to fulfill your needs. If you’re buying knick-knacks because you’re bored or lonely, find other activities or spend time with friends that can fill that void.

How to resist the temptation to buy new knick-knacks

There are a few ways to stop buying knick-knacks impulsively. One way is to wait 24 hours after you have seen something you love before making a purchase. This will give you time to think about whether or not you really need the item.

It might sound a bit obvious be consider giving up shopping as a hobby find something else to do instead of making endless trips to the mall or local stores. Wean yourself off shopping online, it is so easy nowadays to just press a button and the item is bought. Don’t be fearful of just returning any item you have bought in haste. Most online companies accept returns.

Decluttering Example: Eagle Ornament Collection

My late husband loved eagles and had quite a collection recently I have been decluttering them. This is a picture of the cluttered version with the eagle ornaments crowding each other out.

how to declutter knick knacks before and after ideas

On inspection, I noticed 3 of the eagles were similar in design and color. So these were kept together as a pleasing group of 3.  One of the eagles was a brown handmade eagle made in an artisan pottery studio from clay. This was my favorite eagle so I moved to my bedroom where it sits on top of a dresser next to a vase of flowers. Here it can be appreciated as a work of art.

eagle ornament decluttered and placed on own next to a vase of flowers

The smallest brown eagle was made of china and contains whisky. When shaking the ornament you can still hear the whisky sloshing around. I looked closely at this ornament and I have decided it will go, if my family doesn’t want it then I will give it goodwill.

decluttered collection of eagle ornaments

Resources for Decluttering your Home

Here are some links to the websites I believe will help you by providing information on how to declutter your home in a satisfying and practical way.

1. The Container Store

The Container Store is a retailer that specializes in storage and organization products. They have everything from containers to shelving to labels. If you’re looking for help decluttering your home, they can be a great resource.

2. Apartment Therapy

Apartment Therapy is a website that offers tips on decluttering and organizing your home.

3. Clean My Space

Clean My Space is a website that offers tips and videos on decluttering and cleaning your home.

4. The Spruce

The Spruce is a website that offers tips and videos on decluttering and cleaning your home. They have everything from tips on how to declutter your closet to how to declutter your kitchen.

5. Martha Stewart Living

Martha Stewart Living is a website that offers tips on decluttering and organizing your home. They have everything from tips on how to store your holiday decorations to how to organize your pantry.

6. The Fly Lady

If you struggle with decluttering, cleaning, and organizing your home this website run by The Fly Lady is perfect for you. It starts off with baby steps so you never become overwhelmed. Also, you will be challenged over your reasons for hanging onto clutter.

7. Better Homes and Gardens

Inspirational ideas with plenty of photographs of beautiful homes. I use this as inspiration for my home

8. Unclutterer

This website contains plenty of tips for anyone looking to declutter their homes.

Decluttering Knick-Knacks Final Thoughts

Decluttering any home can be a daunting task, but by following these tips you can make it a more satisfying process. It’s important to assess the value of your clutter and also determine what you want to do with any sentimental objects. You should also try to find ways to have a fulfilling life so that you’re not tempted to buy new knick-knacks. Finally, give yourself time to declutter your possessions and downsize your collections to prevent becoming overwhelmed. With these tips in mind, you can declutter your home in a way that works for you.

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How to Declutter Knick Knacks