10 Ways to tame your inner hoarder
So you wouldn’t qualify for a feature on A&E’s Hoarders; that’s good, but you're not in the clear yet!
It's time for a little spring declutter and the icicles are not the only thing melting… so is your heart, and that nostalgia can get in the way of clearing things out. Here are 10 empowering tips to help you kick clutter to the curb.
Photo credit: KidStock/Blend Images/Getty Images
Photograph your treasures
No need to lose the memory; snap a photo of that darling macaroni frame your child made for you five years ago, or the pictures he drew for you. Don’t limit it to art projects; even photos of favorite furniture and “the way things were” will be fun to look at in 10 years. Then you are free to let it go.
Sell items you haven’t put to good use
If you aren’t using it, send it to a loving home that will, and put a few bucks in your wallet. The reward of money helps us say goodbye to the unnecessary. Sell items via a garage sale, local Facebook swap-and-sell group, Craigslist, Amazon, eBay, or a local consignment shop.
When you buy something new give up something old. Love that awesome new pair of jeans? Consider it an upgrade and turn in a pair you’ll probably never fit into again.
Pass it on
Offer up items to friends. Offer furniture to college students, kid and baby gear to new mothers, etc. Helping someone out will make you feel good, plus you’ll know it’s going to a good home… but make sure you give with no strings attached. Tell your friends to pass it on or donate it when they are done.
Donate with purpose
We often thrift things for the tax-deductible receipt, but consider your charity of choice and remember that a percentage of the proceeds will go to help those in need. Take a moment to feel good about that.
Give yourself an IOU
Motivate yourself to purge with a reward. For every 10 items you let go of, allow yourself to purchase one new item you’ve been eyeing.
Throw a swap party
Invite your friends to bring their gently-used items, mingle with snacks and drinks, and swap. As the host, you set the rules, so predetermine that as a polite host you will not be taking any items, just giving… or maybe limit yourself to one item per every five (of equal size and use) you personally give away.
Sometimes it is better to turn unused items into usable items, especially when you like the color or design of something. You may never fit into that cute cotton dress again, but turning it into a throw pillow will free up another hanger and create something everyone can admire.
Find an accountability buddy
Ask an objective friend to help you declutter and to be there as moral support. Let your friend know that you need to streamline but are struggling to let go… she may be the push you need.
Digitize whenever possible
Trade in hardback books for e-books, digitize paperwork such as bills and receipts, dump old magazines and subscribe to e-magazines, etc.