Friday, August 26, 2011

Give It Away Now

So often my clients struggle with the decision of what to keep and what to give away. It's one of the biggest obstacles people face when getting organized. Especially in New York City where space is limited.

While I’m definitely not the type of organizer that forces clients to part with everything they hold near and dear, my job is to help clients make tough decisions. I’ve found seven questions that can generally get them there.

If you find yourself holding on to things a bit too tightly (i.e. your loved ones have to pry them from your hands), keep reading. This just might help.

1. Why am I holding on to this? Always start here. Understanding what an item means to you, whether it was a gift or represents your childhood or whatever, helps you understand the function, if any, it serves in your life at this point.

2. When was the last time you used or wore the item? As a standard rule, if you haven’t used or worn an item in over a year, get rid of it. Quick tip for clothing: Put the item back into your closet with the hanger facing the opposite direction. You’ll easily see which items you don’t wear.

3. Is the item beyond repair? If you’ve done all you can to try to repair an item or if it’s completely falling apart, it’s time to let it go.

4. Is the item even worth repairing? Consider if it’s truly worth your valuable time and money to repair an item. If you don’t think you’ll get around to figuring out how to repair something, that’s okay. Just be honest with yourself and move on.

5. Does the item no longer fit your style or home decor? Times change and so does your taste. What you liked a several years ago, however attached you are to the item, might not fit into your life anymore.

6. Is there some other way to capture the memory associated with the item? As silly as it sounds, would a photo of the item be as satisfying to you as holding onto the item?

7. Would someone else use it and absolutely love it? I guarantee the answer is YES. Imagine the happiness someone would feel at your local thrift store if they were able to use the item you donated. Giving back feels good, so give it a try.


Do you have a hard time parting with things? Or is that easy for you? Let me know, I'd love to hear from you. 

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