As a professional organizer, I see too many homes filled with Too Many Things. Why? Because Things are brought in–year after year, decade after decade, and far fewer Things go back out. Over time, large storage spaces like basements and garages become full. Next are closets and cabinets. After that, Things spill over into the living areas. Unwittingly, control of the house has been turned over to the Things. It is time to return balance to our homes and lives and take back control!
Tastes and styles change. Things become obsolete or no longer used. We end up with duplicates, triplicates or even more of the same items.
Go through every room and set aside everything that has become clutter — things that take up space but serve no real purpose at this point in your life. Give things to family and friends if they can use them. Recycle items like paper, clear glass and e-waste such as computers and printers.
Here are 3 tips:
Best Buy has free e-waste recycling, up to 3 items per household per day.
Reuse water bottles (better yet, use a refillable eco-friendly bottle). Reduce waste by buying just enough food for the week to avoid spoilage and tossing some.
Repurpose used tissue paper by shredding it and using as pretty, colorful filler in gift bags.
Another super option is donating to charity! One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, as is said! Your castoffs can give needed funds to other charities and allow people to buy things they otherwise could not afford.
Here are 5 tips:
1. Be sure items are in good condition — clean and not torn or worn out, have all the pieces (toys, games) and work properly. If items are good enough to give to friends or family, they are suitable for donation.
2. Keep a donation bin in each closet. When items are no longer wanted, drop them in. When they are full, it’s time to donate!
3. Get a receipt if you plan to claim a tax deduction.
4. Use donation valuation guides. Here are 3.
Itsdeductible.com (free online guide that also calculates as you go and imports into Turbo Tax)
5. Donation sources include:
Vietnam Veterans of America
The Stuff Shop (matches your unwanted stuff with people who need that stuff )
Impact Thrift Store (greater Philadelphia, PA area)
Freecycle (give/get free stuff)
To find thrift stores throughout the U.S.
It feels good to do good!
Product of the Month
Mighty Stor Tote Bag
In addition to the plethora of reusable, lightweight tote bags, one that stands out is Mighty Stor. This strong, translucent tote is zippered with handles, water- and tear-resistant, and made of polyethylene tarp material. Tote beach gear or sports equipment. According to information I’ve read, it can be used to store items in non-climate controlled areas, like a garage or attic, and the tote will keep your items dust-free. Click here to find the medium tote bag (22″ wide x 26″ high x 12″ deep) for $10.99; search using “Household Essentials Medium Tote With Black Handles.” For $12.99 you can get the large tote, the difference being a width of 30″.
Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. ~ Ben Franklin
Product mentions are provided as a courtesy. No endorsement by An Organized Approach™ is made or implied.