Saturday, 8 October 2011

3 Ways to Halt the Hoarding Habit

Holy Clutter Batman!  Is that all your stuff? Have you ever moved and thought to yourself…where did all this junk come from? You don’t have to move to realize you need to de-clutter once in a while.  Here are several ideas on how to de-clutter, and make some money in the mean time.

 The sorting system is crucial in your process to de-clutter.  Make it easy to do alone. You do not want the excuse of having to wait for someone to help you move things or carry them from one place to another.  Simply start with the small loose stuff and just start DOING!

Set Up Categories
 Set up baskets or boxes with labels.  The general rule is to start with the following three categories; keep, sell and donate.  Let’s break them down a little further.
  • Keep
This can be a difficult category to whittle down for some people.  Your first impulse might be to keep everything with any type of emotional meaning or if you paid a lot for it in the past.  Don’t let those impulses guide your decision.

Clothing – if you haven’t worn it in two years, do not keep it.  It’s out of style by now anyway.

Furniture/Other Items – general rule for furniture is if you are storing it to use later, toss it.  The chance of you wanting to use it later diminishes each day that it is in storage.  Of course there is an exception for legit antiques!

A lot of what we have held on for years does have some sentimental value to us and others know it.  Be cognizant of your new relationships and the effects keeping some of that old stuff may have on their feelings.
 Even if it’s valuable, it may not be fair to your new partner to have to look at things that conjure up memories of your past relationships.  It may be causing underlying animosity that you aren’t even aware of.  It’s also a new start and a good practice for you to let go of items from your past.  Let go, and start a new chapter….ahhhh, refreshing!
  • Sell  
 There are a couple of options beyond the average garage sale these days that provide an opportunity for you to sell your used items to others who are looking for the same, but really don’t want to pay full price.  Things that belong in this category are items that you really did not use a lot.  Exercise equipment with which you had good intentions, just never got around to using it much. Old movies and books, dish sets, d├ęcor items that you’ve replaced, etc…

Set up a few tables in your garage, put up signs on a couple of strategic corners in your neighborhood and try to move all you can.  Garage sale shoppers are really looking for a bargain, so expect to haggle.
  •    Donate
“One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure.”  Based on this premise, donate things like clothing that is over two years old, things that did not sell at your garage sale, things that have ex-memories attached to them, birthday gifts you never used or that weren’t your style.  Make sure they are in good working and usable condition.  If they do not work, or are stained, they are really trash for the curb, or use old stained clothing as dust rags if you’d like.

Do this every other year or every two years. Try not to be tight fisted about it.  Remember, you’re not using it anyway. Your wallet and your newly organized   space will make you happier than that old piece of unused clutter! 

 Thanks to Kimberly Willis who is a frequent guest poster who writes about money-saving tips and is a contributor for supplying this guest post.