Uncluttering a home, especially prior to a move, is a feel-good, yet strenuous process for most. Concentrating on the benefits of this process will help you achieve your goal.
Uncluttering for the sake of downsizing belongings helps create open space in a home. This can be achieved by sorting, donating, distributing and discarding unneeded or unnecessary items. If you need help with making sorting decisions call on an educated and trained professional organizer for assistance by going to www.napo.net.
Instead of showing my before and after pictures of uncluttering jobs, I should really show you the before and after pictures of my client’s faces.
Here are some basic tips on how to start the purging process:
1. Start in one area of your house – Pick a corner or begin in the closet. Look at each of your belongings and ask, do I really need this? Is this item in the right
place? If you don’t need it, toss it. If you need it, but it’s in the wrong place, put it in a box and label it “looking for a place.” At the end of your uncluttering, you can place each item where it belongs.
2. Donate clothing that hasn’t been worn in more than a year. If it’s a size issue, let’s get real. By the time you might fit back into an old size, is the clothing still going to be in style? Let’s be honest, do you ever wear that blouse or those pants? Purging belongings can be tough for some, but when you see that floor you haven’t seen in a while, you will feel so much better.
3. Make some money from your unwanted items. You don’t have to donate everything. I once sold my husband’s ties and socks from my driveway, and made hundreds of dollars. I have to tell you, I was one happy woman! My husband doesn’t buy much, but he does love the challenge that comes with buying ties and socks on sale. Each time he buys from those sales I see dollar signs. Make sense? No, but I can’t wait for my next sale. One day he’ll figure it out.
4. Get rid of those newspapers! I am no different than the next guy. I like keeping papers around so that if I don’t have time today I can read the paper tomorrow. Here’s the reality. Tomorrow’s paper arrives, and I still haven’t read yesterday’s paper. Now what I am going to do, read both papers in one day? I don’t think so. Did you find an article or a recipe you like? Clip it and place in a binder with protective sheet covers. Keep the recipe, but get rid of those newspapers … I’ll give you a week!
5. To shred or not to shred, that is the question? What are you going to do with the stacks and stacks of paper you keep promising yourself you’ll look at one day? Do you drink coffee? Okay, here’s your chance to take a minute and go get a cup! As Nike says, “Just Do It!” Of course, if you can’t do things without someone with you, you can call a very good and understanding friend and ask them if they don’t mind sitting with you while you sift through your papers. Tell them they can knit or read a book while you sort your papers.
- Make time and call your accountant and investment broker and ask them what tax papers or investment statements you need to keep and what you don’t need.
- How much correspondence do you need to keep anyway?
- If it’s an important document, file it in a ‘forever’ file or in a ‘vital record keeper’.
- If it’s a bill, for goodness sake, pay it.
- Keep a record of, not the paper with all your credit card, bank and pertinent contact information and account numbers.
- Create a computer spreadsheet to store this information.
- Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance – make a date with yourself to regularly go through your piles of accumulated paperwork. It may be a cheap date, but it may be the one you remember the most.
Debbie Ginsberg is the Vice-President of Uncluttered Domain Inc. Together with her business partner, Frady Moskowitz, LMSW, they are trained and educated Professional Organizers and Pre-Moving Specialists, with a special focus on hoarders and on helping Seniors move. Debbie welcomes comments and questions and can be reached at Debbie@UnclutteredDomain.com. Their website address is www.UnclutteredDomain.com.