Who says Spring cleaning must only happen in the Spring? Fall is the perfect time to sort through the clutter. Think about it… with more time spent in-doors during the cold winter months wouldn’t it be nice to have a tidy, clutter-free home to spend time in? Set aside some time to sort through those stacks of paperwork, magazines, photographs, and miscellaneous boxes hidden away in the attic.
As you get started on the de-cluttering project, you will likely come across items that you just don’t know what to do with. You’ll find yourself wondering if you should throw away, give away, sell, or keep? To make it simple, we have put together a list of “clutter” items that should be thrown away, donated to charity, or sold; and a list of “not clutter” items that you should hold onto.
- Objects that are broken or obsolete
(example: that ancient telephone that’s been collecting dust)
- Articles that you have outgrown physically or emotionally
(example: clothing that has been too small for years)
- Things that are more bothersome to use than they are worth
(example: the electronic devise that must be dusted off, plugged in, set up, and loaded before using and is really not helpful enough to bother pulling it off the shelf in the first place)
- Things that wouldn’t really affect you if you never saw them again
(example: that box in the attic that you forgot you even had. If you could live without if for years you can probably get rid of it)
- Items you’ve always hated
(example: that hideous picture frame from your aunt)
- Clothing, decorations, or other items that are either the wrong size, style, or color
(example: the decorative pillows that just didn’t quite match the curtains)
- Items that generated bad feelings
(example: something that brings back memories of a family disagreement)
- Things you have to clean, store, and insure it but you don’t get much use out of
(example: the boat that you store, insure, and license but never take out on the water)
- Things that prompt good feelings
(example: a birthday card from a loved one)
- Items that you need for your job
(example: camera equipment for a photographer)
- Things that help you save time or energy or do things you need done
(example: household tools and appliances such as microwave, rice cooker, hair dryer)
- Items that will interest the coming generation
(example: old family photographs)
While you sort through your belongings, make sure to pace yourself. Don’t be over ambitious and attempt to do everything all at once. Spread out the project over several days. Try not to get distracted. Just focus on categorizing things into throw out, give away, sell or keep. If you hit a wall and can’t seem to decide on some things, try switching your focus. For example, when you’re working in the attic and start to feel burnt out or indecisive; try working in the garage for a little while.
If you really just can’t decide if something should be kept or not, place it in a box, label the contents of the box, and date it with today’s date. Write in your calendar a reminder to go through the box again six months from today. If you’ve needed the contents of the box before that time, then keep it. If not, then you should at least have more clarity about what to do with it by that time.
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