AP NEWS

Staying Organized Move clutter out of your house

February 15, 2019

There are various traditional methods of disposing of items no longer wanted. You can start with just placing old items in the weekly trash. Large items get picked up per your garbage pickup schedule, or you can break down a large item and place it in the trash barrel. Any documents with personal information need to be shredded. This includes mail, tax returns, bills, etc. Everyone should own a shredder. Many neighborhoods have community garage sales or you can have your own. Be aware that buyers are looking for bargains, so you will receive a minimal price. Goodwill, Salvation Army or other charities take household and clothing items in good shape. Place an ad to advertise the sale of items on websites, in newspapers or on bulletin boards. There are companies that will haul you excess belonging away, and you will never see the items again; but be prepared to pay a hefty price. Finally, if you have an item that has a market value, consider a consignment or pawn shop.

Some non-traditional methods of disposing of items include the following:

Return - If you bought something that did not work out or it was undesirable, return it! Many stores will take back items with or without a receipt. If you don’t have a receipt, check to see if the store will give you credit. You have nothing to lose by asking.

Gift - It is not awful to give a treasure as a gift. You can use a special occasion or no reason at all. Give item to relatives or friends. If someone admires something you have wanted to get out of the house, give it to them.

Trade - You may be able to find someone willing to trade a service you need for an item you need to get rid of for payment. Someone may be willing to do garden work in trade for garden tools you own.

Mail - If you have someone who will take an item, don’t hold on to it until they come to get it, just place it in a box and mail it.

Take a picture - Some items are just too bulky, dirty or old to keep. Take a picture for a memory and then trash the item.

This certainly is not an overnight task. Uncluttering can take years. The idea is to find good homes for your belongings that you loved and enjoyed. For the items you have no sentiment, just send them on their way by whatever means.

Maria Ward has been a lifelong organizer applying techniques to personal life, business and learning. She worked as a professional organizer and was a member of the Houston professional organizers group. Now retired, she offers organizing classes at Lone Star College’s Academy for Lifelong Learning Program. Email: mariacward@gmail.com.