Today, many of us share one common problem: too much stuff in our homes. For four weeks, I’ll give you another
insight into clutter, managing it, and getting control over it.
You don’t have to live in a disorganized, cluttered home that frustrates you anymore. Having an uncluttered, organized home will repay you in time and money — and will return your peace of mind — and in just four weeks.
What is clutter?
Clutter is anything that you don’t regularly use, things that you don’t like or enjoy or that are broken, or items kept out of guilt and obligation. Clutter includes items like old clothing, unused toys, mismatched dishes, or stacks of magazines. One of the worst sources of clutter is paper. Newspapers, mail, magazines, old greeting cards, and various paper items all clutter up our coffee tables, desks, and refrigerator.
What clutter isn’t
Clutter isn’t anything you truly love or use regularly. Clutter also isn’t a valuable collectible. Some things shouldn’t go in a landfill or in a garage sale. Your grandmother’s Fostoria crystal isn’t junk and shouldn’t be treated that way. Special items like that can be sold to Replacements.com, a china store that will purchase your unwanted crystal or china.
Or, you can check online for places where you can sell your item. Local antiques or consignment stores are another resource to help sell your items. Lastly, if you know someone with an Ebay account you can ask them to list your item or open your own Ebay account to sell your things.
Whatever you do, you should have an idea of what an item like yours is selling for elsewhere. This will help you determine the appropriate place to sell it. For instance, I had a number of old Life magazines I thought might be valuable. When I found out they were selling for under a dollar apiece on Ebay, I decided to sell them in my garage sale and if they didn’t sell then, they’d go into the dumpster.
So do some research yourself to determine if your item(s) is valuable. This way you’ll find the best place to sell it and get the most for it or find out if it should go in the trash or donated.
Let’s get started
Get ready to be the Nolan Ryan of your household. Yes, you need to become the fastest pitcher in the house. Have everyone in the house fill a box with items they don’t want or need. Next, talk to your neighbors about having a neighborhood garage sale. A neighborhood garage sale draws more traffic, gets rid of more junk – and makes you more money from your old stuff. If that fails, hold your own. Whatever you do, just start decluttering and you’ll start to see your living space grow. You’ll also be amazed at how much better you’ll feel.
Your goal for decluttering this week:
Spend 15 minutes a day in each room of the house throwing away items and getting clutter sorted for donation or to sell.
More options for your clutter
Donate. Charitable organizations such as the Salvation Army, Goodwill, veterans groups, etc., are good places to donate items. Make sure they’re clean and usable. Stained or broken items are trash and should go there. If you have a lot to donate, call around because some charitable organizations pick up items for you.
Give it away. Think someone else would really like your item? Join Freecycle.org. This is a group that will find a home for your old treasure as long as you are willing to give it away for free. Or, advertise your free item in the newspaper in the “free things.” Ads for free items are often free.
Get an appraisal. Not sure if your item is junk or something really valuable? Get it appraised. Go to collectingchannel.com and click on “Ask the Appraiser!” You can get an online appraisal for $19.95. Or, take your item for a local business, such as antiques or jewelry dealer for an appraisal or referral. Remember, they usually charge for these.
Sell it. Ebay.com online auction is one place to sell items and so is the newspaper – especially items like furniture and appliances. You’ll often make more money through a newspaper ad than a garage sale.
Consign it. Check with your local consignment shop or antiques store about carrying your household items. Clothing consignment stores are another good choice for up to date clothing in good condition.