I finally faced the worst area in our home aka the downstairs closet. I put everything there that doesn't have a place like extra folding chairs, a plastic bin of memorabilia, Christmas gifts to hide, a laundry rack, vacuum parts,a few things of value that I don't need any more but want to sell, etc. It is almost like a junk drawer, but it is a junk closet. I had someone here visiting the past few days and we tackled the closet together. It didn't take very long at all. I was surprised. I got rid of some packaging for mailing boxes and that was a big portion of the mess. Once that was gone, it was very easy to organize the others so I could easily see everything. It feels great! The clutter is gone as well as the burden that went along with it. I just wish I had faced it sooner. It seems like when we start to declutter a room or a shelf or a drawer, we think it is going to be much worse than it really ends up.
Now that so many states are lifting restrictions and businesses and jobs are getting back somewhat, it may be easy to just forget decluttering. But, if you continue to spend 5-10 minutes a day, you will be surprised at how quickly it can get done.
What can I do with the stuff I get rid of?
1. Recycle: If it is paper or cardboard, you can easily recycle your castoffs.
2. Give to charity. You can also get a tax deduction for up to 500 dollars of donated items. Just remember to get a receipt when you donate your items.
3. Sell on Amazon or e-bay. Look up the price of the things you want to get rid of and see if it is something you may want to sell. I had a book that sold for $150, which shocked me. It may not be worth it to you to spend the time. Maybe you just want it out of the house. In that case, remind yourself that you are sharing with others. I find that when I share with others, I always seem to get plenty back myself.
4. If there is a Facebook type garage sale for your area, sell locally.
5. Donate books and videos/DVD's to the local library and get a tax deduction as well.
6. Have a garage sale.
7. Sell through Craig's list.
8. Do a trade with friends and/or family. Everyone can bring the things they don't want any more and trade for someone else's cast offs. No one has to spend any money!
9. Re-gift at Christmas time. If you item is in good condition, give it to someone who would enjoy it more than you. Otherwise, take it to your next elephant gift party and get rid of it there. One of our friends has a party each year and there is one item that people bring back over and over and it goes around to someone new each year.
10. If you have clothing that is in bad condition, cut it up and use it for rags.
11. If you have broken items, either fix or pass them on.