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Learning To Let Go of Your Stuff!

I often get calls from clients saying that they have too much stuff. That they lack space in their homes and because they have too many items, nothing feels organized. Letting go of items can be challenging so here are a few tips on how to take a look at your possessions and decide if you should keep them or let them go.

Would I buy this item today? You are cleaning out your closet and not sure if you should keep that red top that you haven’t worn for ages. Ask yourself if you would buy the item today. If not, out it goes.

Gifts and Sentimental items – You have been passed down rusty knives, cookware and a ring from your grandmother. You don’t use any of them but want to keep them all as a reminder of her. If you don’t use them, then compromise by letting go of some of the items. Perhaps keep the ring as it doesn’t take up much physical space and it may have a better financial value and let go of the knives and cookware.

Take Pictures – You feel bad letting go of gifts or sentimental items that have been passed down to you. If you don’t use them and haven’t looked at them in ages, then take pictures of the items and let them go. You could always print off the pictures and display them in a scrap book or nice photo album for memory sake.

Donate – If you have items that are sitting in your basement, storage area or garage and you don’t use them, consider donating them. It will allow others the opportunity to enjoy your items that you are not using. If you have higher end value items that are taking up space that you really do not need, then perhaps check with your family members to see if they could use them, sell them in a consignment store, or auction etc.

Duplicates – Do you have two or three of the same items? If so, can you make do with just one and let go of the others?

What is it worth? Take a look at the items you are keeping just because you spent a lot for them and ask yourself “what is it worth today?” If you are keeping old computer pieces because you paid a lot for them, chances are you are not going to get a lot of money for them now.

Just in Case – If you are holding on just in case, it almost never happens. Also, consider how much it would cost to replace it. If you are hanging on to several items that cost little to replace, it is worth more to have more space and less clutter than it is to replace an item that cost so little. Especially when there is a good chance you will not need to replace it at all.

One in One Out – If you are considering bringing more items in your home, consider the one in one out rule. For example, if you buy a new top, then pick a top that you have not worn for a year or more and put it in a bag to be donated.

Hope these tips help when it is your turn to make decisions on whether to keep or let go of your items.

Until next time,

Kathy McEwan is a professional organizer, member of the Professional Organizers of Canada and the Institute of Chronic Disorganization. If you would like more information on her organizing and coaching services please contact via Kathy@secondsetofhands.ca or 613.454.5706.