Thursday, May 12, 2016

TEN things to TOSS Today!

When people find out what I do for a living, I often get questions like, "What's the weirdest thing you've found in someone's house?" Or comments such as, "You must see a lot of different things that people save." And the answer to the latter is yes, I do see a lot of different things that people keep. But actually, I often see the same types of items in people's homes.

Having my business for a few years now, I've noticed some fairly universal items when I help clients go through the process of decluttering their spaces. Some of these items hide in the backs of closets, cupboards and boxes in garages. Others are right there in your line of sight, but have become such a part of the environment that you don't even notice them. When they are brought out of the closets, cupboards and garage boxes, clients will often say, "I forgot I even had those in here."

When the eyes of a stranger notice that collection of dusty trophies on a spare bedroom shelf, the client may look at them as if they're seeing them for the first time. That's part of my job. . . to make you look at your space with a fresh set of eyes and come up with a vision for your space.

That being said, here's a list of TEN things you can TOSS today to get you started on your de-cluttering journey.

1. WIRE HANGERS from the dry cleaners! I know, you're thinking, "Why do I have to go through the hassle of transferring the shirts from wire hangers to my other hangers?" The reason is that wire hangers are ugly, and frankly, potentially harmful (remember the movie, "Mommy Dearest?") When I work on a client's closet, that's the first thing I do. Decent hangers these days are fairly inexpensive and uniformity in hangers make your closet pleasing to the eye which may encourage you to maintain your newly organized closet.

2. SHOES that hurt your feet! You know the ones I'm talking about. Why? Why would you assign valuable real estate in your closet to shoes that give you blisters or pinch your toes? Why?
3. PLASTIC CUPS with old company logos, sports team logos, fast food logos, etc. If you need plastic cups for outside by the pool, pick up a pack of inexpensive cups from the grocery store.   
4. OLD TROPHIES from your childhood, or your kids. We all know you're a winner, so why are you keeping that dusty old baseball trophy from the 70's? These can often be donated to a local charity that specializes in refurbishing them for events such as the Special Olympics.
5. PAPERBACK BOOKS that you will never reread. Check with your local library to see if they accept gently used paperback books for their "Friends of the Library" book sale. Let someone else delve into the world of Harry Potter and Hogwarts!
6. GREETING CARDS - - I know, I know! Being a paper craft enthusiast, I've created and given many, many handmade greeting cards and this is a sticky subject for me also. I've given myself permission to keep a few really, really special cards such as the ones from my children with their beginning handwriting skills, and a few special wedding anniversary cards. The memory of the day, or holiday does not live in the card, it lives in your own memory of that day. Getting rid of the card is not getting rid of the memory. Keeping it in a drawer is not honoring that memory.
7. JUNK MAIL!!! Seriously, do I even need to say anything about this? Throw. It. Away. If possible, don't even let it make it into your house to sit on your counter or table. I've seen way too many paper grocery bags full of insurance offers, credit card offers, seed catalogs, Valpak coupons, and drug store advertisements. THROW IT IN THE RECYCLING BIN IMMEDIATELY!!! Here's a link to my post about getting off some of the mailing lists.
8. MANUALS to items you don't own anymore. And while you're at it, toss the cords to electrical items you don't own anymore also. I can't tell you how many cords I've sent off to E-Waste heaven!
9. FLORIST VASES - Really!! Unless you buy yourself fresh flowers on a weekly basis, what are the odds that you need to keep 7-10 plain, ugly glass vases. Free that space above your refrigerator, (cause that's where I usually find them!) Where do you keep yours?
10. COOKBOOKS you never use. In today's era of Pinterest, YUMMY! posts on Facebook, and all the other apps and places you can find amazing recipes, why are you assigning valuable space to those big, heavy cookbooks?
There's my top 10 items I recommend you start with. If you can pick just a few of these in the beginning of your journey, I think you'll find that it won't be as hard as you think. In my next post, I'll give you another 10 items that you can let go of as well.
What items are the hardest for you to let go of, and why? Leave a comment below and let's see if we have more in common than we thought. Who knows, your item(s) might show up in my next post as well!! Good luck and Happy Purging!