How are you enjoying your spring? Do you have spring cleaning and organizing projects lined up? At my house we’re getting central air conditioning installed. I’m very excited that we won’t have to deal with the window AC units anymore.
Tag Archive for: Getting rid of stuff
If you’d like to encourage yourself and your family to recycle more change your words. Use the word landfill instead of trash. Every time you’re about to throw something out say, “I’m putting this in the landfill.” This small change will make a difference in how you perceive discarded items.
Research shows the context of a word sways people’s judgment and decision making.
One of the most common issues people face when organizing and downsizing is deciding what to keep. Here is a tool that is helpful during the decision making process. This tool is from the book, Organizing for Dummies by Eileen Roth and Elizabeth Miles.
When deciding to save or not use the acronym WASTE.
- W = worthwhile
- A = again
- S = somewhere else
- T = toss
- E = entire
This acronym is a great tool because it prompts us to ask questions regarding the usefulness of the items on which we’re deciding. We need to be honest with our answers and with our assessment of the items in question.
- Why is this item worthwhile to keep?
- When will we use it again within the next year?
- Can we find it easily somewhere else, if we need to?
- What will happen if we toss it?
- Do we need the entire thing? If not, keep what we need and toss the rest.
A second common issue people face when organizing and downsizing is deciding what to do with the items that aren’t being kept. The options are countless, but what I have witnessed over the years is that it’s helpful to find a donation destination that motivates us to let go of stuff. Let me share some of the most common ones that I use for myself and for my clients.
- Give to someone we know, friends, family, neighbors
- Always ask! Don’t assume people want things that you want to pass along to them.
- Donate to a non-profit organization that will give directly to those in need
- Donate to a resale organization
- Offer up for free
- Sell the items yourself
- Consign the items
©November 2021 Janine Cavanaugh, CPO All rights reserved
In order to reduce clutter, we need to get rid of more than we bring in. Think like a mathematician, the rate at which we bring things in needs to be less than the rate at which we remove things.
Tips on how to bring in less:
Tips on how to remove things:
Do you hold onto things because you think you might need them someday? It’s tempting to believe in someday. However, I want you to reconsider and think about these possible scenarios.
Someday arrives and…
- You can’t find that specific item you’ve been holding onto for all these years. It’s not where you thought it was.
- The thing you saved is no longer in working condition and you have to purchase a new one.
- You can’t get at it because it’s buried under a pile of stuff.
- You’ve wasted so much time looking for it, you’ve decided it’s easier to make do without or to find an alternative solution.
- You’ve decided to let it go, but it no longer has any value. No one wants it, and you have to pay to get it out of your house.
In my 14 years of helping people organize their homes, these scenarios happen all the time. People cling to items thinking they will be of value at some point in the future. They can’t pinpoint when that timeframe is, so they use the word someday. However a much more common occurrence is the someday they’ve been waiting, and waiting and waiting for, never arrives!
I do want to point out the difference between being prepared for possible emergencies and disasters verses holding onto items for a hypothetical someday. When you build an emergency kit you’re taking precautions to protect you and your family. When you cling to items that you MIGHT use SOMEDAY you’re avoiding making a decision on these items.
Therefore I urge you to let go of someday! Make room for today.
©October 2021 Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer All rights reserved
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