Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How Many Empty Coat Hangers Does One Person Need?

Where does it all come from?  A person sure can accumulate a lot of “stuff” in 30 years.  When we moved, over two years ago, I got rid of tons of “stuff”, so how come there is still a huge pile of boxes in the corner of my basement that are still unpacked?

I’ve read lots of articles about how to get rid of clutter.  Most of them tell how to prioritize things and get rid of those items we no long use.  Here are the steps they suggest:

1. Objectively look at an item

2. Decide one of three things about the item;
    a. Do you love it
    b. Do you use it
    c. Will you use it in the future.

3.  If the item doesn’t fit one of those three categories, get rid of it.

When we were moving and I had a house, a studio and a warehouse to clear out, the idea of packing was overwhelming.  The task became much easier when I broke it down into manageable pieces.  After all there is only one way to eat an elephant… one bite at a time.  By starting with a small area, like a kitchen drawer, closet or small room, I was able to de-clutter and pack everything without being overwhelmed.  It took days to clear out the drawers in my office desk alone but it got done.

Don’t second guess yourself.  I made three piles.  They were, the “definitely keep it” pile, the “definitely get rid of it” pile and the “not so sure” pile.  The key to successfully using the “not so sure” pile is to go back the next day and make a decision as to which of the other two piles an item belongs and deal with it.

I also had three “getting rid of” piles.  One was for items I was going to donate to Goodwill or other charitable organization, another was for items I was going to tag sale, and the third was for items that were headed for the landfill.  I made regular trips to Goodwill and the landfill which helped keep reduce the clutter level in the house.

Be ruthless with the “get rid of it” piles.  Yes, there will always be something that you got rid of that you find yourself looking for a year later.  Soon after we moved I bought a can of tomato juice and after I got home, realized I didn’t have a can opener.  We did manger to find one in my husband’s tackle box but I did panic for a couple of minutes.

Those boxes in the basement.  I started going through them recently and since the three pile system worked fairly well before, I’m using it again.  Not many items are falling into the landfill pile but the tag sale pile is growing.  This house is much smaller than our old house so there isn’t enough room to display all of the items I love. The “definitely keep” pile has things like photo albums, books and things like the pretty tea pot that belonged to my grandmother.  I will definitely keep them even if their new home is in a box in the basement. 


P.S. We've moved.  Check out our new website at laurelmtbasket.com

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