By Gene And Katie Hamilton
Making the choice of what to keep and what to toss is an issue for most everyone especially when you move or you feel the pressure to get yourself and your possessions organized. There are countless books and videos about how to do "get organized" but it looks easier than it is. After many moves from one house to another, living aboard a boat and asking friends how they get rid of stuff, here's what we've learned. It takes time and is often stressful, but the results are worth the effort.
Unfortunately it's an ongoing process, not a once and done ordeal, it's a sort of philosophy of living with only what you use, want and need. There are lots of options to get rid of stuff like have a yard sale, donate the stuff or use a consignment shop for the valuables.
Make it a Monthly Weekend Purge
Start small and designate a few hours one weekend a month to declutter a room or closet and make it easy by keeping a box, crate or large paper or plastic bag in each room where you can deposit items no longer needed, used or wanted. This job can be overwhelming, but if you make it in small steps it's less daunting. As you make decluttering more of a routine you'll be more comfortable with the job and make your home easier and more enjoyable to live in,
Pruning in Rooms, Not in the Garden
Books take up a lot of space in any home and for some, novels are a decoration lining the shelves of bookcases, and stacks of photography books adorn coffee tables. Favorite picture books are staples in kid's bedrooms - all, well and good, but when books are saved and reread to grandkids, isn't it time to pass them on for others to enjoy? Sell or give your books to a local library and to someone who will read and cherish them as much as you did.
Some people have kitchen equipment and small appliances that they've barely if ever used, but continue to keep them despite the dust they collect and space they take up. If you haven't used something in the past year, how likely are you to next year? Nonprofit and charity resale stores are the perfect place to donate them, just make sure they are clean and in good working order.
How many sets of bedsheets, linens and towels do you really use? For those you don't, find a local thrift that helps low income and refugee families. They will gratefully accept these household items (and others). Make it easy and wash and label the size of bedsheets and blankets that are in good condition and drop them off.
Furniture in good condition that you no longer use is another appreciated donation, often agencies will pick up saving you the hassle of moving them. We use ReStore, the Habitt for Humanity store because of their pick up service. Call your local ReStore to find out what they accept.
If some items have value and you don't want to give away or donate them, find a consignment shop by typing "find a consignment shop near me" or be more specific by typing "consignment shop that sells clothes near me" and a list of them will appear.
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