Whether you were blessed with an abundance of Christmas gifts or found too many end of year sales you couldn’t pass up, there’s a good chance you entered the new year with a few more gadgets than you had last year. The temptation is to accumulate year over year without much thought on how to store the items. Instead of buying new storage bins or stuffing more in the closet, use this opportunity to do a post-Christmas purge.
I realize that purging perfectly good household items can be difficult. Really. I do! You’ve worked hard. You’ve scrimped, saved, and found great deals. But somehow you have ended up with more than you need.
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
- Your closet is overflowing with clothes, but you “don’t have anything to wear.”
- You have six small appliances in your kitchen that you’ve only used a hand full of times.
- The garage is packed with boxes so there isn’t room to park your vehicle.
If you’ve found you have more stuff than room to store it, spend time clearing out the clutter and then find someone who needs it more than you.
Clutter Clearing Tips:
If you’re ready to streamline and clear the clutter, determine what you have time to tackle. Don’t feel pressure to conquer the entire house at one time. Remember that small steps eventually lead to big impact.
Start by getting a trash bag and a box. As you move throughout your home, you might find empty bottles, old makeup, socks with holes in them, and other items that should be trashed instead of donated.
But as you consider adding items to the donation box, use the following questions to help with the decision making process:
- Does it add value to my life?
- Do I use it?
- Do I like it?
- Does it fit?
- Is it a duplicate?
- Can I easily replace it if I actually need it one day?
- Could someone else benefit from it more that me?
If you find you don’t need the item but it’s still a struggle to let go, consider putting it in a separate pile or box and think about it during your decluttering day. If you can’t let the items(s) go by the end of the day, put the box in the back of your closet for a month. If you don’t think about or miss those items at the end of the month, you’ll know you can let it go.
Donation Options to consider:
- idonate.com is an organization that accepts cars, RV’s, boats, and cell phones as a donation. They process and sell the inventory and then donate the proceeds to the church, clinic or other non-profit association of your choice.
- Donationtown.org is perfect for the family who wants to declutter large items without hauling them. Just type in your zip code to find a charity that will pick up clothing, furniture, toys, and household donations for free.
- Habitat for Humanity is a christian organization that offers home ownership opportunity to families who may not otherwise have the option. You can donate household materials at their local reStores.
- Adoption yard sales are becoming widely popular. If you have friends in the adoption process, there is a good chance they would gladly take your castoffs for a fundraising yard sale.
- Refugee Centers always have a need for donations. Since the centers provide living quarters and furnishings to refugees free of charge, anything from bath towels to frying pans are needed.
- Kijiji or Craigslist have a free sections where you can list curb alerts. When you post a listing, specify what items are up for grabs, their condition and how long they will be curbside. For a quick response, put it out on trash day and let them know they’ll have to beat the clock.
- Goodwill and The Salvation Army have store locations all over the country that make it easy to donates. Sometimes they’ll even pick up items from your home.
- Just ask. If you have several perfectly good items in need of a home, send an email to family or tell friends on Facebook what you are giving away. You just might be purging the exact item they’ve been searching for.
Set a good example.
Teach your children that a generosity has rewards; that generosity leads to a heart change. When you provide for those in need, you break the hold possessions can often have on us. Just like a toddler giving up their pacicifer because they know it will be passed on to their newborn cousin, the same is true for older kids and adults alike.
When your kids see you give with a spirit of generosity throughout the year, they’ll most likely mimic your behavior.
An immediate benefit to keep in mind is that a clean and organized home far outweigh the benefit of keeping that rarely used fill in the blank you’ve been saving for some day.
Less clutter means less cleaning and less maintenance; plus you’re more likely to actually find – and use – what you have!
Are you planning a post-Christmas purge?