Many people accumulate things and many more things as the years go by. They save items from relatives who are deceased out of nostalgia (not need) or just don’t know what to do with their possessions and they don’t part with them. Regardless of the reason people have too many possessions they do not use, the end result is a cluttered space. The answer is decluttering but that is not easy. For most people, the motivation to declutter is extremely difficult.
So, how do you take the steps to declutter? Here are some suggestions.
- If you think you have valuable items call an appraiser to see if they are truly valuable. That will determine if you want to sell them, hand them down to family or donate the items to charity.
- Ask family members if they want any items you do not want. Grandchildren may fondly remember a lamp or table from their grandparents’ home and value that family treasure.
- For items with no great monetary or sentimental value have someone come and help you sort through all of the old clothes, disposable containers, old paint cans, etc.
When choosing someone to help you declutter, make sure of three things:
- They have the time to get the job done within a few days or weeks. Someone may be helpful, if she can only come once a month for two hours, the the process will be delayed and it will be more difficult to achieve your goal.
- Make sure the person is compassionate and will go at a pace good for you. Sometimes all you need to get rid of an item is to tell its story to someone. Plenty of family members will be willing to throw away everything in an afternoon leaving you emotionally and physically distraught. Find someone you will enjoy spending time with.
- The person is willing to take things for donation or arrange for the items to be picked up and disposed of.
While the process of decluttering can be difficult, the results can be refreshing. We recently had a client who could not bring herself to clean out her husband’s closet several years after his death. Once she understood that there was a charity that really welcomed the items and she saw the results, she felt like a burden had been lifted that had been there for many years.