Guest Post

Show Clutter the Door

By MAria Gracia, Get Organized Now!
When we stop to think about it, we all have clutter to one degree or another. No matter where we are with the level of clutter, we’d all be better off without it. So, join us as we embark on a journey to show clutter the door.

1. Schedule a charity pick-up. Some of us work better with a deadline, so schedule one. Call your local or favorite charity and schedule a pick-up for a week or two out. Now that you have that deadline, make the rounds gathering up unneeded items. You’ll be amazed at the difference.

2. One room at a time. Start in one room and work in there until you’ve cleared the clutter. Your most visible room will have the most impact, so start there. For most people, that is the living room. Seeing what a big improvement it is, just removing the clutter makes, will motivate you to keep going. And remember, you don’t have to spend the day at it. Start with 15 minutes.

3. Go for the trash first. Start with a trash bag and go around the room from right to left, or left to right depending on your preference. Pick up any old newspapers, magazines, junk mail or what have you, that are lying around. Remove every bit. If you have recycling in your community, be sure to recycle paper, newspaper and magazines. Some of your magazines would be appreciated by senior centers or nursing homes if they are relatively current. Whatever else you pick up as trash, throw it in the garbage. Just removing the trash will be an improvement.

4. Remove everything that doesn’t belong: Pick up everything that doesn’t belong in the room, and put it in a basket. Remember, you’re just in gathering mode right now. You don’t have to run around putting things away yet. Sort through the basket when you get everything picked up. If you have a place for the item, put it in its place. Handle each item only once. If you don’t know where it goes, put it into a box for donations. Don’t agonize over what to do with an item. If it has a place, just put it there. If it doesn’t, make it easy on yourself and donate it. Clutter gone.

5. Rethink how much you need. Many of us have duplicates, triplicates or even more of items. Truth be told, most of the time we need just one. So, go through your supplies and donate the excess. Not only will you free up space in your home–you’ll also benefit others with your donations.

6. Make a bit of money. They are a bit of work but having a yard sale can result in cash in your pocket and clutter out the door. As you set aside items for the yard sale, go ahead and price them. Keep in mind that we go to yard sales looking for a bargain as you price each item. Before your yard sale, arrange to have a charity pick-up anything that is left over right after closing. Clutter totally gone!

7. Freecycle It: Another way to show clutter the door is to list items on Freecycle. Almost every city has a freecycle organization. No cash changes hands, but the end result is that clutter is out of your home and into the hands of someone who needs it. Arrangements can be made to meet somewhere neutral so that you don’t have safety concerns to deal with. Just take precautions to be safe when meeting someone to hand off items.

8. Sell online. There are several auction and ‘yard sale’ sites online where you can sell items like books, DVDs, clothing, craft supplies and the like. You’ll need to take a digital picture of the item and upload them to your site of choice. To get a good idea of how to price your items, search for similar items. This will give you a fair idea of how to price, and it will also let you know if there is a market for your items.

9. Pack It Up. Do you have more artwork, knick knacks, whatever, than you have space to display it? Do you love it and can’t see your way to donating or selling? You can still reduce clutter and keep your favorite things. Simply pack up three fourths of your items. Periodically, switch out what you have displayed. You’ll have a fresh new look and less clutter, and still be surrounded by your favorite things. Just be sure not to turn your home into a storage warehouse!

10. Donate, with a twist. It’s pretty easy to donate items to any one of dozens of charities. For a different twist, do a bit of research and find a local organization that offers free clothing to women trying to get back into the workplace. For women trying to reenter the work force after being homeless, or other issues, the chance to look professional when going out on interviews is priceless. So, if you have professional clothing you no longer use, consider donating it to this kind of organization. You’ll make a huge difference in another woman’s life.

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