Haven’t used it in years? Give it away or throw it out!

A quick glance at the magazine section in any store will tell you how much we seek simplicity in a time of pressure with busy work and home lives.  Titles that grab our attention tell us to “organize with style”, “control clutter”, and entice us with “tips to organize your life”. Great ideas and suggestions are all around us, but how can we get them to work?

“In my experience, the simplest strategy is to get rid of the things that you no longer want or need. I know, it’s not the first time you have heard it, and it won’t be the last. I make no claim to having invented the idea. This ongoing review of what we surround ourselves with is where I find the advice lacking. There is not so much emphasis given to the act of removing excess items as there is on how and where to store it. In my opinion, this is why it is hard to get and stay organized,” suggests Kristen Hansen, Unionville stager and real estate stylist.

Hansen often works with people who are about to make a life change to a different home. This necessitates the type of review of your possessions with a dollar value attached – what is the cost of taking this with me and storing this item? Do I really want or need it for the lifestyle in my new space?  Why do we only do this when we are moving?

So what about a personal challenge for the month of October. “Let’s turn 31 days into a habit. No need to allocate a specific time each day, just turn your everyday activities into an opportunity. In your bathroom drawer as you get ready in the morning – is all of that product necessary? As you make a meal – are all of those kitchen utensils something you use?  Each day, find one item to give away,” adds Hansen.

Take a careful look at what you have. Are you actively using it? Does it make you feel great? Is it in good repair and functioning well? Does it fit in the life you are creating for yourself? Do you have space for it?

“If the answer is no, let it go,” suggests Hansen. Donating and repurposing is a real way to honour your items, but recognize that they have served their purpose to you.

If you do this just once every day in October, you will be amazed at the impact this small but mindful daily activity can make. Hopefully, it will help you find more space and time in your life for the things that bring you joy.


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