One of the main causes of clutter is over-accumulation. It’s hard to make organized systems if you’re overwhelmed with the sheer volume of things. A great place to start is by moving useful things that you don’t need or want back out into the world to be used and enjoyed by others.
Do Your Homework
Get familiar with the thrift stores, charitable organizations, and recycling resources in your area. Donation Town is a great online national directory of charities you can search by zip code. Don’t forget about Freecycle or Craigslist as options for listing free items.
Make It Easy
It’s much easier to let go of something if a donation bag is handy. Either have one central, dedicated location for a bag or set up donation bags in multiple rooms – each bedroom, garage, and laundry room. Brown paper grocery bags are easy and work well because they can be moved right into a car. Don’t forget to label the bag so everyone knows what it is for!
Having your bags ready and knowing where to take them won’t do you any good if they are always empty. Try and get things into the donation bags as soon as you know you don’t want them. Try on a shirt and it doesn’t fit or you don’t like how you look in it? Into the donation bag! Notice a toy or game the kids never use anymore? Into the donation bag!
If you’re getting resistance from your family around letting things go, offer incentives or make a game of it to inspire them. Check out our post on how to make organizing fun.
Calendar or schedule donation pickup/drop-offs at least quarterly. Don’t forget to collect receipts and claim your charitable tax deduction.
Enjoy The Results
Now you’re well on your way to being able to organize what’s left. It’s much easier to set up homes and systems for active items without having old, inactive items cluttering up the process.
Just get started! Take a bag and walk around your house…could you fill at least 1 bag today?