Feeling a bit squeezed, like the things you own are slowly but surely edging you out of your own house? It’s time to take "clutter inventory" and decide here and now to get rid of what you no longer use or need. We’re firm believers in "getting it before it gets you," and that means making a regular habit of disposing with items no longer needed — before they can accumulate. We know: it’s easier to put off doing today what you can do tomorrow ... and then the next day and … don’t wait until the task feels overwhelming.
First, take a good look around and isolate one specific area that needs help. Start small to get comfortable with the process. How about that hall closet with coats, jackets, hats, gloves, an umbrella, maybe even your vacuum or golf clubs? What do you really need, and what hasn’t been used in years? Make three piles: what you’ll keep, what you’ll donate and sell and what you’ll throw away. Once you’ve tackled this one small area, you’ll be ready to take on the bedroom closet and then the garage and the attic. You’ll feel "renewed" and life will indeed seem simpler … if you continue to throw as you go.
This may be the perfect time to put together a garage sale: your local newspaper likely offers garage sale kits, complete with signs and other tips for a successful venture, if you place an ad at minimal cost. You can also put the whole garage sale online, using Web sites that offer free classified listings. You could make enough for a nice dinner out this weekend, and you’ll know that someone else is enjoying an item that once held a place in your life.
If you’re like most of us, you receive far too many publications in the mail, including catalogues, magazines, pamphlets and advertisements. Sort your mail over the garbage can.
And about those magazines stacking up in the bookcase: Do you really still need the May 1996 issue of National Geographic or that complex recipe in Gourmet for pumpkin cheesecake? It’s tough to say "goodbye," but why not cull your magazine collection and make new space you can really use? Many magazine articles are available on the Internet.
More tips on organizing.