Published by: Carolyn Smith, Executive Assistant
Now is the time of year to change from Summer clothing to Winter clothing. Put away lawn and patio furniture. Secure the barbecue grill for the winter. Begin to purchase lawn bags to rake up all the leaves that are now falling from trees. It’s time to pull out snow shovels and salt for the bad weather that will soon come. Transitioning from one season to the next is the perfect time to downsize and get rid of those things that we no longer need. Let’s face it, we all have quite a bit of stuff and when we really take a good look at our homes, it is a whole lot of stuff that we can get rid of. Sometimes we have so much stuff to get rid of, that we decide not to deal with it and another year passes and then another year and when we finally decide to tackle it – we have a massive amount of “stuff” to organize and get rid of in order to declutter our homes, garages and storage sheds.
The key to decluttering is to purge your life of things you don’t need without getting rid of the things that you do need. Sounds simple, but it really is not. Sometimes in our efforts to get rid of unwanted and needed things we do get rid of things that we need. We may end up with forks and spoons and no knives (sometimes it just happens). It takes time and a lot of thoughtful consideration if you are to do it properly, if not, you will end up making mistakes.
The first step is sorting – we need to sort through and empty out the garage, basement and attic – we form emotional attachments to stuff and just don’t get rid of it. Separate your items into a “keep” pile and a “maybe keep” pile. You will find that things that we maybe want to keep will end up in the throw away or give away pile.
Remember it’s all just “stuff”.
Once things are separated, you now know what you are going to keep, and you have a place in your home for those items. Now it’s time to determine what you are going to do with all the stuff that you are getting rid of. Here are some options:
- Charities https://www.gogreendrop.com/redcross/clothing-donations
- Consignment Shops https://www.consignmentshopper.com/store/7458/legacies-consignment-and-donations/
- Goodwill https://www.goodwill.org/donate/donate-stuff/
- Senior Centers https://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/love-the-elderly/
- Homeless Shelters https://cincihomeless.org/
- Veteran Organizations https://vva.org/donate/
You can donate items such as clothing, furniture, small appliances, and household items. You may even receive a tax deduction if you itemize your taxes. A few things to remember when donating your “stuff”:
- Check the pockets of clothing for jewelry, money and other valuables you might not be intending to donate.
- Separate clothing into different bags/boxes than household items.
- Check to ensure that items you are donating are not soiled, stained or ripped.
- Test electrical equipment and battery-operated items to make sure they work.
- Include all pieces and parts to games, toys and household appliances.
Remember one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.