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De-cluttering Starts With 5 Easy Questions

Every organizing and de-cluttering project, large or smalls, begins with asking yourself 5 questions:

1. How many multiples of things do I have/need?

  • Do you really need 3 vegetable peelers, 4 corkscrews, 5 staplers, 27 pens, etc. You get the picture.

  • Part of the problem in accumulating so many items is that we don't put them away in the first place, we buy a new one, and then find the old one, which is too good to throw away. We keep it and multiples add up.

I can see you nodding your head, sounds just about right, doesn't it?

2. When was the last time I wore/used this?

  • Unless your home has infinite closet space, (which becomes finite in the long run anyway) it's important to up-cycle, or share or just toss articles of clothing that are not actively used. I'm not referring to special occasion items, just your normal wardrobe. Some people use the one year rule..."Haven't worn it in a year...give it away." I would say 2 years maximum. ..ok, 3.

  • One trick I have seen is that when you've worn something hang it up with the hanger backwards. After your designated time period give up anything with the hangers still facing front. (This only works if you hang up your clothes in the first place and can tolerate hangers going in 2 directions).

  • If you are waiting to lose weight to fit into a bunch of clothes, get rid of them. You've already replaced them with clothes that fit. If you do lose the weight you'll want new clothes and/or they are out of style. Reward yourself with some new clothes.

3. Is this in need of repair and will I fix it or pay to have it fixed? This applies to clothes, tools, gadgets and all things not in good useful condition.

  • If you don't like something well enough, or use something often enough, and you don't have the energy, time or inclination to take care of it, toss it.

  • Then ask yourself if you really need to replace it.

  • If you don't, you've just decluttered.

NJ Expert Organizer, Marilyn Shain Labendz, makes suggestions for making good choices.

4. Why am I keeping this? Nostalgia is lovely and, as a person who holds many things close to her heart, it's not always reason enough to keep something.

  • As I've mentioned in earlier posts, I have moved several times. I couldn't let go of my wedding gown which was "preserved" and sealed so I could only see the box.

  • My daughter is much taller than I so she couldn't wear it. Finally .... finally, after 4 moves, (which means it added to my moving bill 4 times) I opened it up to see how it withstood the stand of time...yellowed and yucky! Ended up tossing it anyway.

  • Waste of space, time energy and money! Guilt is not a good reason, either. Aunt Sybil's ugly green tiered server comes to the top of my list.

5. How would I feel if I never had or saw this item again?

  • I love this question because that's what my mother asked to me years ago. I was just beginning to date the man I married. She called him "my boyfriend." I said, defensively, "He's not my boyfriend." She asked, "How would you feel if you never saw him again?"

  • If your stomach doesn't ache even a little bit, as much as mine did with that question, you probably can toss that item.

NJ Expert Organizer, Marilyn Shain Labendz, makes organizing easy.

Contact me! I will help you answer these questions and more so that your home and closets are most manageable, leaving you more time for leisure and fun!

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