The high price of having too much stuff. The costs; time, money and anxiety.
I don’t now about you but it seems like every year after Christmas and close to tax time I start feeling suffocated by stuff…especially when it comes to my closet. Last week I hit the tipping point when I could not find a workout top I was looking for. I must have spent 20 minutes looking for it and finally got so fed up, I gave up. So I spent half of last Saturday purging my closet and boy do I feel better! Doug (my husband) said the house feels lighter….this is after he helped me inventory, photograph and load 5 bags of clothes and about 20 pair of shoes….
If you need more room in your life or are feeling suffocated by too much stuff here is some food for thought.
There is clearly a high price of having much stuff.
The costs of clutter:
- Time – how much is your time worth? Ever spent a half an hour looking for something you know is somewhere in you closet, drawer or stack of papers? (like I did)
- Money – American’s spend thousands of dollars on storage units each year and often buy replacements for stuff the can’t find or are to lazy to go get from storage.
- Stress – having too much stuff creates anxiety, stress and it’s just irritating and overwhelming.
The best way to de-clutter is to tackle one drawer, one stack of paper or one closet time. Starting and finishing one space at a time gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivates you to keep going. It’s handy to have a few things easily accessible before you start a de-cluttering project.
What you need:
- Several trash bags – sell, donate, trash and keep ( I like to use clear trash bags so I can see which bag I am adding to… or worse taking from, occasionally I experience the dreaded get rid of regret)
- Some type of large box or basket for items you want to keep and reorganize
- A shredder if working on a paperwork pile (make sure you shred sensitive information)
Rules to follow:
- Ask once – is it broken, missing pieces, worn out, has it been used in the past 12 months, do I still want it, does it still fit you and your life – decide accordingly
- Touch once – no sense in moving items over and over again, from pile to pile or room to room…place it in the correct spot the first time. Keep, toss, donate, sell, etc.
Next turn clutter into cash:
- Sell – Craigslist, e-bay, consignment stores, yard sale, etc.
- Donate – Slightly used items are a perfect donation for Goodwill or the Salvation Army Items that are new or in excellent condition can be donated to a high end charity like the Cancer Society’s Discovery Shop (great place to shop too)
TIP: Make sure you inventory each item, take pictures and get a receipt for your donation so if you itemize your taxes you are able to claim the maximum deduction.
Finally vow to think before you fill the space again. This year I will do my best to utilize the rule if I bring something into my home something else must go out. (not likely I do this 100% but it is a good rule of thumb anyway)