Decluttering Tips

The wintery weather outside, belies the fact that spring is just around the corner and with it, the chance to freshen and spruce up our homes. One great way to begin your spring cleaning is to clear any clutter that may have accumulated over the past seasons. One of the hardest parts of de-cluttering is figuring out where to begin. 

Here are some suggestions to move you toward having your shelves, tables and/ or closets visible, usable and organized. Keep in mind that no matter what state your home is in now, everything in it falls into one of three categories: Keep It, Toss It, or Pass It Along.  Begin with one room or one corner of a room.<img style="margin: 5px; width: 175px; float: right;" alt="EvelynGiggles.jpg" src="” />

1. It is easiest to begin clearing a room by purging it of the Toss It items, first. With a trash bag in hand, toss anything that obviously does not have any life or purpose left in it. (i.e. old newspapers, dead plants, non-business related receipts, used food packaging, broken items, or items stained beyond repair.  You get the idea.)

2. Next, go through the room and collect anything is still functional, but no longer serves you  and your current lifestyle or tastes. These are perfect for your Pass It Along pile. (Great examples of this would be DVD’s you’ve watched once, but wouldn’t watch again, clothes that are the wrong size or items from a hobby that you no longer have any interest in doing.) Put all of the items a box or boxes to be taken to a local charity, saved for the neighborhood garage sale or sold on E-Bay or Craigslist.

3. For some items that you sort, you may not have to do much thinking to figure out if it belongs in the Toss It, Pass It Along or Keep It category.  For other items, here are some questions to keep in mind that may help you with your sorting:

  • When was the last time I used this? If it was over 1 year ago and it is still in good repair, pass it along. There is no point of owning something, if you do not use it.
  • Why am I keeping it? Does it have sentimental value? If the answer is yes, is there another way to retain the happy memories of the item without keeping the item itself? Would a digital photograph of the item suffice in evoking the happy memories?
  • When really puzzling over an item, ask yourself a question: If I lost this item or it was stolen, would I replace it? If it wouldn’t be a high priority to replace it, maybe it is time to let the item go.
  • Once you have a good  Pass It Along pile gathered, one of your options is to take it to a local charity. Here are two of the many available choices in the Cincinnati/Dayton Region. Remember that your donated items are tax deductible, so ask for an itemized receipt.

Donations to Goodwill will help to fund programs that help eliminate barriers to opportunities that lead to an enhanced quality of life for individuals and families in our local community.  Click here to find out how to donate.

Habitat for Humanity will take re-useable and surplus, building materials, furniture and/or appliances to sell in their retail outlet. The proceeds go toward funding the local Habitat house construction. To donate materials, find the nearest ReStore location, here.

As always, remember that all of us at the Barker, Beck, Collins and Kronauge Agency are at your service with Trusted Advice and Reliable Solutions.