How to clean up or clean out!
Spring is just around the corner and it’s time to declutter – clean up or clean out! It’s hard for many people to get rid of things they no longer use, but it’s necessary. Clutter is not good for your health.
Here are ten suggestions for smart living:
- Books: If you’re going to read it, or it just feels too much like family, put it on your bookshelf. If not give it away. You can drop books off at a library or donation center. Or call around for a charity to will pick up.
- Clothes: Can you answer yes to “Do I love it?” “Do I need it?” or “Will I use it within 6 months?” If not, then out it goes. It doesn’t matter that “I only wore it once.” “It’s still in good condition.” or “it was expensive.” Make three piles: toss, donate, and sell.
- Household junk: Rags, cans of rusty nails, buckets, vinegar: Hold a garage sale. Put price tags on items: $5, $50, or make an offer. Post signs in the neighborhood and advertise on Craigslist, Estatesales.com and Pennysaver.com.
- Paperwork: Scan important papers – birth and marriage certificates, school records, wills and other legal documents – electronically, and back up your hard drive. Store originals, organized, in a lockbox or sealed plastic tub.
- Your kids’ stuff: It’s not your job to save everything from your children’s lives. Save the milestone items in a nice box. If your children are grown and moved out, box up what belongs to them and send it to them or give them a date to pick it up by.
- Photos/Cards: Send to an online scanning service to store in the cloud or make albums.
- Antiques: Take high-end antiques to a local antique dealer, who can take them to an auction house. Find out what the house’s take is upfront (typically 10 to 15 percent) as well as where it will place in the starting bid.
- Old furniture/appliances: Consignment stores are great, but watch out for split. Some stores don’t offer a good split. If you aren’t comfortable with consignment shops, have a garage sale.
- Collectibles/Art: Make sure to have all collectibles and art appraised. Something handed down to you may not look like much but could be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars. eBay and auction houses are a great place for these items.
- Closet: Rather than fishing through and deciding what to eliminate, take everything out, down to the bare walls. Then physically put them back. Choosing to keep, rather than choosing to let go, will net in clinging to fewer things.
Remember: When you’re up against your memories, you’re simplifying your life, not erasing your past.